Hong Kong, China shares choppy ahead of China data flurry

Tue May 7, 2013 10:23am IST

* HSI, H-shares +0.1 pct; CSI300, Shanghai Comp flat

* Macau casinos lifted by SJM's positive Q1 earnings

* GOME jumps after rare profit alert

By Yimou Lee and Clement Tan

HONG KONG, May 7 (Reuters) - Hong Kong and China shares lingered at multi-week highs in choppy trade on Tuesday as investors rotated out of recent outperformers ahead of April China data that could offer fresh clues on the recovery in the world's second-largest economy.

By midday, the Hang Seng Index was up 0.1 percent from Monday's near two-month closing high to 22,946.2 points, with chart resistance seen at 23,000. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong also edged up 0.1 percent.

"23,000 is pretty strong resistance on the Hang Seng Index, so investors are taking some profits on the outperformers for now," said Larry Jiang, chief investment strategist at Guotai Junan International Securities.

The Shanghai Composite Index and CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings were flat, both hovering around two-week highs.

Fresh impetus could come from a slew of April China data, starting with trade on Wednesday and inflation on Thursday, with money supply and loan growth expected from Friday.

On Tuesday, Chinese financials were broadly weaker after a recent strong run. CITIC Securities , China's largest listed brokerage, fell 2.9 percent in Hong Kong, set for its worst day in five weeks.

But some growth-sensitive counters which have been battered recently saw the bigger percentage gains. China National Building Material, which tumbled 6.2 percent in April after diving more than 17 percent in March, rose 2 percent on Tuesday.

SJM Holdings jumped 4 percent after the Macau casino operator posted a 12 percent year-on-year increase in first-quarter net profit late on Monday.

Earnings-related announcements drove some of the other more significant moves on the day in a sign that earnings recovery will be patchy and remain heavily company-specific.

GOME Electrical Appliances Holding, China's second-largest home appliance retail chain operator, jumped 3.7 percent to six-week highs after issuing a rare profit alert after several recent warnings.

GOME's Hong Kong-listed shares have dived 27 percent from highs in mid-January, lagging a 2 percent loss in the China Enterprises Index over the same period.

Shares of Yue Yuen Industrial (Holdings) Ltd tumbled more than 11 percent to their lowest since last September after the sports shoe maker warned of a downturn in its first-quarter earnings due to rising costs and lower operating efficiency.

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