* HSI flat, H-shares -0.3 pct, China reopens Friday
* Rebound short-lived after Tuesday’s steep losses
* China cyclicals biggest drags, but Anhui Conch up
* Wynn Macau earnings lift casinos, ahead of gaming revenue
By Clement Tan
Feb 5 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares lingered at seven-month lows on Wednesday after benchmark indexes surrendered gains over the first hour of trade as a rebound proved short-lived with markets still jittery after a steep sell-off in recent sessions.
With the U.S. non-farm payrolls report due on Friday and a slew of Chinese data next week, market watchers say more losses could lie in wait if either came in weaker than expected.
By midday, the Hang Seng Index was flat at 21,393.9 points. It closed on Tuesday at its lowest since July 2013, after posting its biggest single-day loss in one-and-a-half years. Chart support was seen at the 21,300-21,500 range, where a base had formed in July from which the index had rallied.
The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong was down 0.3 percent after rising by as much as 0.9 percent earlier. The H-share index has now tumbled about 18 percent from a peak on Dec. 2 and has now completely reversed gains after a key policy meeting in mid-November.
Mainland Chinese markets remain shut for the Lunar New Year and will resume trading on Friday.
“I am not sensing any real fear or panic yet in the market, which can be worrisome or not, depending on how you look at it,” said Jackson Wong, Tanrich Securities’ vice-president for equity sales.
“On one hand, it can suggest that there’s room for more losses, while on the other, it may point to a gradual rebound from here,” Wong added.
Chinese financials were again the biggest benchmark drags. Bank of China sank 0.9 percent to its lowest in almost six months, while Ping An Insurance slid 1.4 percent and is now down 14 percent for the year.
But not all growth-sensitive counters were weaker.
Anhui Conch Cement climbed 2.1 percent, helped by a Morgan Stanley rating and price target upgrade. China’s largest cement producer was also listed among 15 stocks to buy after the recent sell-off by Credit Suisse China equity strategists in a note dated Feb. 4.
Lenovo Group rebounded 2 percent from a three-month closing low. The world’s largest PC maker had on Tuesday plunged 16.4 percent in its biggest single-day loss in five years after a string of broker downgrades on fears recent acquisitions would dilute its earnings.
There were also gains for Wynn Macau shares, which climbed 2.6 percent after posting better-than-expected fourth quarter results, with the broader Macau casino sector outperforming the market ahead of monthly gaming revenue data due later in the day.
Sands China gained 1.6 percent, while Galaxy Entertainment rose 1.5 percent.