HONG KONG Aug 4 Hong Kong stocks were steady on Tuesday as anxiety ahead of earning reports tempered by a rally in China's main indexes as Beijing ramped up its efforts to stabilise mainland markets.
The Hang Seng index ended almost flat, down 0.02 percent at 24,406.12 points, its lowest close since July 27. The China Enterprises Index gained 0.6 percent to 11,074.92 points.
China stocks rose sharply on the day after mainland authorities announced new steps to curb short-selling with both the Shenzhen and Shanghai stock exchanges unveiling measures to make it more difficult for speculators to profit from hourly gyrations in stock prices.
Citic Securities and Huatai Securities said they would temporarily halt their short-selling services. It was followed by Great Wall Securities.
Analysts said investors focus in Hong Kong turned to earning reports from blue chips, with Standard Chartered expected to release its interim earnings on Wednesday, and Kulun Energy on Thursday.
China Mengniu Dairy was the biggest loser in the blue chips index, falling 4.2 percent.
Air China Ltd led gains in the Chinese enterprise index, with its Hong Kong shares surging 9.3 percent in the biggest daily gain since March 30, after the controlling shareholder raised its stake in the carrier.
Tencent, which fell 0.7 percent, was the day's most actively traded stock. The central bank is cracking down on the country's online payments market, which is dominated by web giants Alibaba and Tencent. (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)