August 14, 2014 / 4:55 AM / 3 years ago

Hong Kong, China shares soften amid corporate earnings

* HSI -0.1 pct, H-shares -0.4 pct, CSI300 -0.3 pct

* Mainland property down, data shows further sector weakness

* Macau casinos bounce after SJM results beat expectations

* Chinese insurers rise on new policy support (Updates to midday)

By Grace Li

HONG KONG, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Hong Kong and China shares eased in choppy trade by midday on Thursday, with a few heavyweight companies that reported corporate results dominating index movements.

By midday, the CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings fell 0.3 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index was off 0.1 percent at 2,221.80 points.

The Hang Seng Index inched down 0.1 percent to 24,871.55 points. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong slipped 0.4 percent.

Helped by solid gains from the previous three sessions, the Hang Seng is again hovering near more than 3-1/2-year highs.

“Investors are just taking it easy and waiting for more news in order to propel the market to go higher,” said Jackson Wong, vice-president of Tanrich Securities in Hong Kong.

Wong added he expected the benchmark index to hit 25,000 points in late August or September, which would be the highest level since May 2008.

Tencent Holdings was the biggest drag on the index, sinking 2.1 percent to HK$130.40 on profit-taking. The biggest-listed Chinese tech firm on Wednesday posted a profit gain of more than 50 percent in the second quarter as smartphone gaming revenue continued to grow at a breakneck pace.

“The stock shouldn’t encounter huge selling pressure. Around HK$128, it should have very good support. Investors are trying to bite a piece of Tencent,” said Wong.

Shares of other companies with good results were stronger. Lenovo Group added 0.5 percent. SAIC Motor climbed 3.7 percent to a two-week high, the biggest boost on the two onshore indexes.

Chinese property companies suffered losses. China Overseas Land & Investment shed 2.5 percent in Hong Kong, while China Vanke slid 1.3 percent in Shenzhen.

Data on Wednesday showed China’s property market weakened further in July, with real estate investment slowing and sales falling sharply despite efforts by many local governments to shore up the troubled sector.

The Macau gaming sector had a rebound, thanks to second-quarter results from SJM Holdings which came in better than expected. SJM jumped 4.9 percent, as did sector rival Wynn Macau.

Hong Kong-listed Chinese insurers outperformed among broadly weaker H-shares. PICC Property and Casualty rose 1.6 percent and People’s Insurance Group of China 0.9 percent.

The sector was lifted by a policy announcement by the State Council on Wednesday to speed the development of modern insurance services.

Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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