HONG KONG, May 23 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares sank deeper into the red on Thursday and looked set for a third-straight loss after a preliminary private survey of May manufacturing activity in China came in at a seven-month low.
Financial, materials and energy counters led the slide after China’s HSBC flash purchasing managers’ index (PMI) slipped to 49.6, slipping under the 50-point level demarcating expansion from contraction for the first since October.
By 0215 GMT, the Hang Seng Index was down 1.5 percent at 22,912.5 points, sliding again after closing on Monday at its highest since early February. The China Enterprises Index fell 1.8 percent.
Mainland Chinese markets were relatively more resilient. The Shanghai Composite Index and the CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings each shed 0.7 percent.
In Hong Kong, PetroChina fell 2.5 percent to its lowest in a month, while Aluminum Corporation of China slid 3.4 percent and Bank of Commucation sank 2.1 percent.
The dim mood weighed on the Hong Kong debut of Sinopec Engineering, which fell below its HK$10.50 IPO price, itself at the lower end of the marketed HK$9.80-HK$13.10 range.
Huaneng Power rebounded strongly, gaining 4.9 percent from Wednesday’s two-month closing low. It had plummetted in the first three days of the week on concerns that lower tariffs could hurt margins of Chinese power producers.