Hong Kong shares fell for the first time in four days on Thursday, weighed by a sluggish onshore Chinese market as investors took profits on last week's outperformers including telecoms.
The Hang Seng Index closed down 0.2 percent at 21,861.8, finishing at the day's low. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong shed 0.4 percent.
In the mainland, the CSI300 Index of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings slipped 0.8 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.5 percent. Both have been trading in a tight 40-50 point range for more than a week.
Shanghai volume neared three-month lows and was some 18 percent below its average in the past month. Turnover in Hong Kong was about 13 percent below its 30-day moving average, the lowest in a week.
“There's some pretty heavy profit taking today after last week's strength...with A-shares still sluggish,” said Jackson Wong, Tanrich Securities' vice-president for equity sales.
Beijing is expected to post on Tuesday cumulative industrial profits data for the year up to the end of October that could offer further clues on the strength of the recovery in the world's second-largest economy.
Shares of Chinese telcos in Hong Kong eased on Monday after outperforming last week. China Unicom and China Telecom shed 0.5 and 1.8 percent from respective two-week highs set last Friday.
Their larger rival, China Mobile slipped 0.4 percent and was among the top drags on the Hang Seng Index after jumping 3.7 percent last week.
Chinese alcohol producers, hammered last week by a contamination scare involving Jiugui Liquor, were broadly weaker in mainland markets, failing to hold onto gains from a rebound on Friday.
Jiugui tumbled the maximum 10 percent in Shenzhen, while sector heavyweights Kweichow Moutai and Wuliangye each shed 2.3 percent.
CHINA CONSUMER SECTOR REBOUND
The Chinese consumer sector, which had underperformed the market in the past week after a series of disappointing earnings from sector bellwethers, was broadly stronger on Monday.
Chinese food and beverage giant Tingyi Holdings rose 2.3 percent, recovering from a 6.2 percent dive last week after its third-quarter corporate earnings underwhelmed expectations.
China-focused shoe retailer Belle International jumped 3.1 percent to HK$16.18 after Credit Suisse analysts upped their target price for the stock by 11.5 percent from HK$16.60 to HK$17.50, while retaining an “outperform” rating.
Chinese automaker Dongfeng Group soared 8.3 percent in Hong Kong in its best day in a year, hitting its highest level since August.
Local media reported French carmaker Renault SA is planning to launch a joint venture to build cars in China with the country's second-largest automaker. - Reuters