* HSI -0.2 pct, H-shares -0.6 pct, CSI300 -1.0 pct
* Apple suppliers hit after tech giant's revenue miss
* Citic Securities, Foxconn slide after profit warnings
* New World Development at most overbought since Aug 2003
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, Jan 24 China shares ended lower on
Thursday after a choppy session as investors took profit on
recent outperformers, triggering a sharp intra-day reversal that
left benchmark indexes vulnerable to further losses in the near
Weakness in mainland markets dragged on Hong Kong, with the
Hang Seng Index down 0.2 percent to 23,598.9, pulling
further away from chart resistance at about 23,708, the high on
May 31, 2011.
The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese
listings in Hong Kong fell 0.6 percent, with only four
components posting gains on the day. Bourse turnover slipped
slightly from Wednesday, but stayed above $10 billion.
In the mainland, the CSI300 of the top Shanghai
and Shenzhen listings ended down 1 percent, while the Shanghai
Composite Index finished down 0.8 percent in bourse
volume that spiked to its highest since Jan. 15.
"Technically speaking, this reversal doesn't look good for
the A-share market...but it could spark some buying on dips,"
said Wang Ao-chao, UOB Kay Hian's Shanghai-based head of
Mainland markets had opened on a stronger note with positive
manufacturing data lifting the mood although indexes reversed
gains of as much as 2 percent in late morning with some traders
citing news that North Korea would go ahead with its nuclear
But the muted reaction in other markets such as Japan and
even Hong Kong suggested otherwise, with profit-taking in
heavyweighted financials, which have raced up in recent weeks,
having a bigger impact.
China Merchants Bank was the top drag
on onshore indexes, falling 2.4 percent from its highest since
May 2011 in Shanghai. It is still up more than 39 percent from a
Sept. 20 nadir.
Shares of Apple Inc's suppliers were hit after
Apple missed revenue expectations for a third straight quarter
as sales of its flagship iPhone came in below Wall Street's
Hong Kong-listed AAC Technologies dived 6 percent
to its lowest in more than a week and Shenzhen-listed Goertek
, which supplies speakers to Apple, tumbled 5.8
percent to its lowest close since Dec. 19.
In Hong Kong, Citic Securities, China's largest
listed brokerage, lost 2.8 percent after warning of a 66 percent
decline in 2012 net profit, while Foxconn International
shed 5.6 percent after warning of an annual loss.
China Mobile slid 2.2 percent to a two-month low
after JP Morgan analysts downgraded its rating on the stock from
"neutral" to "underweight," expecting the country's largest
mobile operator to post its first negative year-on-year earnings
change for 2013.
PROFITABILITY IN SHARP FOCUS
Bucking broader market weakness, Lenovo Group
jumped 6.6 percent to its highest since November 2007 in Hong
Kong after its chief executive told the Wall Street Journal in
Davos that the company's smartphone business in China was
Analysts were expecting Lenovo's smartphone business to at
best break even in the first quarter this year. Shares of Lenovo
have jumped more than 37 percent from a Sept. 5 low ahead of its
third quarter corporate earnings due on Jan. 30.
Wharf Holdings climbed 2.1 percent after Citi
analysts raised their target price for its stock by 25 percent.
They cited Wharf as their top pick among Hong Kong
property-related conglomerates, given its best retail portfolio
among peers and the impending start to the group's first major
investment property project in China.
Citi also raised its target price for New World Development
by more than 22 percent, sending its shares up 2.6
percent to its highest since November 2010. New World is now up
25 percent this year after surging 92 percent in 2012.
Gains on Thursday elevated New World's relative strength
index (RSI) to its most overbought level since August 2003.