* HSI -0.8 pct, H-shares -1.5 pct, CSI300 -0.7 pct
* A-share slide not panic, but slow grind: BoComm
* Chinese cyclical plays hard hit, Shanghai gloom pervades
* CNOOC weak; declining oil prices, Nexen rumblings weigh
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, Nov 28 Chinese shares fell to their
lowest in almost four years on Wednesday, pulling down the Hong
Kong market, as hopes of monetary easing anytime this year faded
in the light of improving economic data.
A lack of progress on U.S. budget talks also weighed on
markets, reigniting fears of a fiscal crisis in the world's
The Hang Seng Index went into the midday trading
break down 0.8 percent, while the China Enterprises Index
of the top Chinese listings slid 1.5 percent. Midday
turnover stayed weak, as it had for most of November.
In the mainland, the CSI300 Index and Shanghai
Composite each slid 0.7 percent, with the latter going
into the lunch break at 1,977.4, its lowest intra-day level
since January 2009.
"This isn't panic in the A-share market, but a systematic,
slow downward grind," said Hong Hao, head of China research at
Bank of Communications International Securities.
Hong added that industrial profit data on Tuesday gave
further evidence that China's economy was improving, dousing
hopes of further monetary policy easing for those still
expecting the A-share market will rebound into year's end.
"But they are waking up now, cutting their losses and
getting out of the market, especially with the bumper crop of
lockup expiry coming up in December, which will further decrease
market volumes and result in more weakness," Hong said.
Cyclical sectors such as steel and industrials that would
benefit the most from stimulus measures fell sharply as
investors discounted such a step.
Baotou Steel dived 5.3 percent in Shanghai to
its lowest since early September. Shares of gold miners were
also weak on declining gold prices, with Zijin Mining
down 0.6 percent in Hong Kong and 2.4
percent in Shanghai.
The China banking sector was also broadly weaker and were
among the top drags on the Hang Seng Index. Industrial and
Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) shed 1.3 percent,
while China Construction Bank (CCB) slid 1.9 percent.
A-share proxy plays such as Chinese insurers and brokerages
were also weak. China Life Insurance was down 2
percent in Hong Kong and 0.3 percent in Shanghai. Citic
Securities lost 1.6 percent in Hong Kong and 1.3
percent in Shanghai.
CHINA OIL MAJORS WEAK
Shares of Chinese oil majors were also a key drag as oil
prices declined. CNOOC Ltd slipped 2.1 percent, while
China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec)
lost 1.2 percent in Hong Kong and 0.3 percent in Shanghai.
China's state-owned CNOOC Ltd and its Canadian takeover
target Nexen Inc said on Tuesday they withdrew
and resubmitted their application for U.S. approval of their
$15.1 billion deal, as Canada gets close to a crucial decision
on whether to approve the transaction.
A spokesman for the Canadian Prime Minister did not comment
on a report that the federal government might want CNOOC to sell
the 7 percent stake that takeover target Nexen holds in the
large Syncrude oil sands joint venture, because fellow Chinese
company Sinopec has a 9 percent stake in it.