July 19, 2013 / 4:51 AM / in 4 years

Hong Kong shares rangebound, China heads for tepid end to week

* HSI +0.2 pct, H-shares -0.4 pct, CSI300 -0.1 pct

* China set for first weekly loss in three, volumes weak

* GOME, Suning spike on hopes of home appliance subsidies

* Jewellers sink on reported gold price manipulation probe

By Clement Tan

HONG KONG, July 19 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares struggled on Friday morning with China also tepid, but demand for recently battered coal miners helped to offset weakness in mainland banking and property sectors.

By midday, the Hang Seng Index was up 0.2 percent at 21,377.4 points, while the China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong fell 0.4 percent. On the week, they are up 0.5 and 0.3 percent, respectively. The indexes have moved in a 300-500 point range for more than a week.

The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings edged down 0.1 percent, while the the Shanghai Composite Index inched up 0.2 percent. On the week, they are now down 1.4 and 0.6 percent, respectively, and due for their first weekly loss in three.

“Benchmark-wise, it’s been quite a flat week in Hong Kong, but there was some strong rotation out of some sectors that have outperformed into laggard ones,” said Jackson Wong, Tanrich Securities’ vice-president for equity sales.

China Shenhua Energy jumped 3 percent in Hong Kong to its highest in about a month and is now up 11.4 percent this week, set for its best weekly showing in nine months. Its A-share listing climbed 1.1 percent in Shanghai.

But Shenhua’s H-share listing is still down more than 30 percent on the year and still trading at a 39 percent discount ot its forward 12-month earnings multiple, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.

China urged local governments late on Thursday to speed up spending this year’s budget to support economic growth but said it would keep overall policy stable and focus on pushing through reforms.

Beijing is reluctant to take broad action to stem a slowdown in the economy, such as relaxing monetary conditions, but analysts said there had been signs of more targeted measures in recent days, such as expanded lending to small businesses and the agricultural sector.

Shares of China’s top home appliance retailers surged on Friday after a report in an official newspaper raised hopes of a new round of subsidies for energy-saving home appliances that could be introduced as soon as the fourth quarter of this year.

Suning Commerce Group Co Ltd spiked nearly 8 percent in Shenzhen, while GOME Electrical Appliances Holding Ltd jumped 7 percent in Hong Kong, also helped by a positive profit alert the company issued for the first half of 2013.

But most Chinese property and banking firms endured losses as China’s short-term money rates inched up on Friday morning, with traders looking to see what the central bank does next week when listed companies are expected to ramp up demand for cash to meet dividend payments due before the month-end.

China Vanke slid 2.6 percent in Shenzhen, while Poly Real Estate dived 3.4 percent in Shanghai and China Overseas Land shed 2.8 percent in Hong Kong as concerns about financing for the sector linger.

Shares of jewellery retailers dived after the official People’s Daily reported on Friday, citing unidentified sources, that China’s National Development and Reform Commission is probing price manipulation by some gold shops in Shanghai.

In Hong Kong, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd dived 3.2 percent and Chow Sang Sang Ltd sank 0.8 percent.

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