Hong Kong, China shares end lower for second day; property drags

Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:45am GMT

Related Topics

* HSI down 1.0 pct, CSI300 down 1.9 pct

* Indices dragged by financials, real estate

* Mainland investors wary of clampdown on housing prices - analyst

* Small- and medium-caps in focus as blue chips underperform

By Yimou Lee

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Stock markets in Hong Kong declined for a second straight day on Tuesday, weighed down by real estate and financials, as investors grew concerned that both Beijing and Hong Kong would launch more curbs to cool rising property prices.

The Hang Seng Index closed down 1 percent at 23,143.91. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong shed 1.8 percent.

The Shanghai Composite Index ended down 1.6 percent at 2,382.91. The CSI300 of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings shed 1.9 percent. Both suffered their worst loss in more than a month.

"The overall market sentiment has turned a little bit cautious," said Alex Wong, director of asset management at Ample Finance Group, adding that investors in both on- and offshore markets were concerned about policy risks.

"I will take a wait-and-see attitude."

China Vanke, China's largest property developer by sales, slid 4.3 percent in Shenzhen. In Hong Kong, China Resources Land lost 4.4 percent, its worst decline since August 2012, while China Overseas Land fell 3.3 percent.

Macau gambling stocks were hit by worst-than-expected gambling revenue for the first 17 days of February.

Sands China was down 4.4 percent, while Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd fell 4.9 percent. MGM China Holdings Ltd fell 3.9 percent.

"Participants are unloading their shares ahead of upcoming corporate earnings in particular in a directionless market," said Alfred Chan, chief dealer at Cheer Pearl Investment.

Analysts said tepid mainland sentiment was affecting investors in Hong Kong, who were disappointed when exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen failed to rally again when mainland markets reopened on Monday after a week-long holiday.

"The market may go into short-term consolidation, waiting for more news," said Linus Yip, strategist at First Shanghai Securities in Hong Kong, adding that market fundamentals are still strong as global fund managers continue to go into stock markets.

"The index is locked in a range and traders may turn their eyes to some mid- and small-cap stocks," Yip said.

Shares of SCMP Group Ltd, the publisher of Hong Kong's South China Morning Post, fell 7.4 percent, its worst decline since september 2011, after the company said on Monday it was in talks regarding the possible acquisition of a group of media companies.

Cheuk Nang (Holdings) Ltd rose 3.6 percent after the company said it expected to record a significant increase in profit for the six months ended in December.

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