HONG KONG, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Shanghai shares erased gains early on Thursday after a preliminary private survey of February’s manufacturing activity in the mainland came in weaker than expected, stoking fears of a quicker-than-expected slowdown.
At 0218 GMT, the Shanghai Composite Index was flat at 2,144.6 points, paring gains after earlier rising by as much as 1.7 percent. The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings was down 0.6 percent.
The Hang Seng Index was down 1.4 percent, while the China Enterprises Index of the leading offshore Chinese listings in Hong Kong was down 1.3 percent.
The China flash Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at a seven-month low of 48.3 in February from January’s final reading of 49.5. The employment sub-index slid to its weakest in four years.