China shares outperform Asia after encouraging flash PMI, Hong Kong slips

Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:59am BST

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* HSI -0.5 pct, H-shares -0.6 pct, CSI300 +1.3 pct

* HK resumes trade after Typhoon Usagi suspends morning session

* Mengniu, Yili lifted by reported govt cash to aid consolidation

* Most Shanghai trade zone stocks up ahead of reported launch

* Sliding gold prices push Zijin Mining off 3-1/2-mth high

By Clement Tan

HONG KONG, Sept 23 (Reuters) - China shares outperformed most other Asian markets on Monday, limiting losses in Hong Kong, after a survey showed manufacturing activity in the world's second-largest economy accelerated to a six-month high this month.

The flash China HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) climbed to 51.2 in September from a final 50.1 reading in August, hitting a high not seen since March. A breakdown of the data showed 10 of 11 sub-indices rose in September.

By 0600 GMT, the CSI300 index of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings was up 1.3 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.1 percent.

The Hang Seng Index was down 0.5 percent and the China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong slipped 0.6 percent. Trading resumed in the afternoon after Typhoon Usagi forced the morning session to be scrubbed.

Markets in Hong Kong were shut last Friday for the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday. Mainland China was trading for the first time since last Wednesday and will be closed again from next Tuesday for a week-long National Day holiday.

"We are in between two major holiday periods in the mainland and at month's end, so any gains this week for the large cap A-share market will likely be capped since liquidity supply could be an issue," said Zhang Qi, a Shanghai-based analyst at Haitong Securities.

"Many stocks have also risen a lot in a short time earlier this month, so investors will be looking to lock in some profits as well," Zhang added.

The ChiNext Composite Index, China's Nasdaq-like board for high-growth, mainly high-tech start up firms, soared 2.5 percent to its highest since December 2010.

Apple suppliers Goertex jumped 5.2 percent in Shenzhen, while AAC Technology gained 0.8 percent after the first day of sales for Apple's new iPhones drew long queues. One analyst said the first weekend would likely top the initial sales figures of last year's model.

Chinese milk powder makers Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group jumped 3.5 percent in Shanghai and China Mengniu Dairy climbed 4 percent in Hong Kong.

The official China Business Journal reported on Saturday that both firms are among those set to share a government support of about 30 billion yuan ($4.90 billion) to aid sector consolidation.

Counters seen benefitting from an approved Shanghai free-trade zone also saw strong gains. Various local media had reported the initiative could be launched at the end of the month or early October.

Shanghai Lujiazui Finance & Trade Zone Development Co Ltd surged by the maximum 10 percent limit, while Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone Development Co Ltd spiked 9.4 percent.

But Shanghai Pudong Development Bank was weaker, along with most financial counters. Pudong Bank dipped 0.6 percent, underperforming the 0.1 percent loss for the Shanghai financial sub-index.

China's largest gold producer Zijin Mining tumbled 4.5 percent in Hong Kong after closing last Thursday at its highest since early June, as gold prices extended last week's sharp losses.

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