July 3, 2014 / 8:10 AM / in 4 years

Hong Kong index inches down from highest level since December

HONG KONG, July 3 (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s benchmark index slipped on Thursday but stayed close to a near seven-month peak as some investors took profit on strong gains the previous day.

The Hang Seng Index inched down 0.1 percent at 23,531.44 points. The China Enterprises Index of the leading offshore Chinese listings in Hong Kong was up 0.1 percent.

Leading gains among H-shares was Anhui Conch Cement , which jumped 5.6 percent. The biggest cement producer in China said late on Wednesday it expected H1 net profit to be up about 90 percent from a year earlier on increased product sales and prices.

The top drag on the Hang Seng was Asia insurance giant AIA Group, which slid 0.9 percent following a 2.4 percent gain on Wednesday. Want Want China Holdings shed 3.4 percent, after closing on Wednesday at its highest since May 15.

Internet giant Tencent Holdings added 1.6 percent to a 4-month high.

Some investors were cautious ahead of U.S. non-farm payroll data later on Thursday, a day before the usual release as U.S. markets close Friday for Independence Day. (Reporting by Grace Li; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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