* HSI slips 0.1 pct, H-shares edge up 0.2 pct
* Local properties fall despite robust holiday sales figures
* Chinese real estate gains on strong sales in January
HONG KONG, Feb 15 Hong Kong shares edged lower
on Friday, weighed down by large-cap property and financial
stocks, with many investors preferring to wait for direction
from mainland China markets, which reopen after the Lunar New
Year holiday next week.
Hong Kong property counters fell as robust sales during the
holiday sparked fears of fresh curbs.
The Hang Seng Index fell 0.1 percent, while the China
Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong
Kong rose 0.2 percent. Turnover in Hong Kong remained weak, with
many traders still away for the holiday.
For the holiday-shortened, two-day trading week, the Hang
Seng Index gained 0.8 percent, while the China Enterprises Index
climbed 1.6 percent. Mainland Chinese markets were shut for the
week and will resume trading on Feb. 18.
"The holiday mode is still there and we are waiting for the
reopening of the A-share market," said Linus Yip, strategist at
First Shanghai Securities in Hong Kong.
The Hang Seng Index fell 2.1 percent last week, its worst
weekly loss since November, but Yip reckoned the market could
steady after that fall.
"The short-term correction may be over and trading will turn
to some mid- and small-cap stocks," Yip said.
Hong Kong real estate developers reported strong sales
figures during the Lunar New Year holiday, triggering fears that
the government might announce further housing curbs.
Local property developer Wharf Holdings fell 1.2
percent, while Sun Hung Kai Properties dropped 0.7
percent. Cheung Kong Holdings fell 1.2 percent.
The Chinese real estate sector gained for the second
consecutive day after major mainland developers posted strong
home sales in January. China Overseas Land rose 1.3
percent, while China Resources Land climbed 1.1
Shares in Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd rose 6
percent after its January car sales jumped 67 percent
China Metal International Holdings Inc rose 4.5
percent after its unaudited revenue for January rose to $25.8
million from $20.8 million a year ago.
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, the world's
largest exchange company by market value, rose 1 percent after
announcing plans to offer after-hours futures trading from