Hong Kong shares close down 1.6 pct at lowest in a month

HONG KONG Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:10am GMT

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HONG KONG Nov 15 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares ended at its lowest in a month on Thursday, reversing the previous day's gains as investors cut risk over uncertainty about policies and reform in the world's second-largest economy after China unveiled a new batch of leaders.

The Hang Seng Index closed down 1.6 percent at 21,108.9, the lowest close since Oct. 11. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong finished down 2 percent at 10,199.6.

In the mainland, the CSI300 Index of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings closed down 1.3 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.2 percent. Both indexes closed at their lowest since Sept. 26.

HIGHLIGHTS:

* Tencent Holdings suffered its worst day in more than 13 months, slumping 7 percent to their lowest level since mid-September after it reported that efforts to expand into new businesses hit margins and the number of fee-paying users for its Internet services fell.

* Esprit Holdings outperformed, surging 22 percent after its former chairman increased his holding in the Europe-focused fashion retailer, fuelling hopes he would play a bigger role in the company.

* Thursday losses took the Hang Seng Index below chart resistance at 21,200, the 23.6 percent retracement of its rise from September lows to November highs, pointing to more short-term weakness.

* China's ruling Communist Party unveiled an ageing, conservative new leadership line-up on Thursday unlikely to take the drastic action needed to tackle pressing woes like growing social unrest, environmental degradation and corruption. Aside from new party chief Xi Jinping, premier-in-waiting Li Keqiang and vice-premier in charge of economic affairs Wang Qishan, considered cautious reformers, the elite decision-making Politburo Standing Committee members are all conservative leaning.

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