* SSEC -0.2 pct, CSI300 -0.3 pct, HSI -0.9 pct
* Hong Kong trade thins as Christmas nears, tracks Wall
* China banks, property companies lead broad declines
SHANGHAI, Dec 22 Hong Kong stocks slid on
Thursday, tracking losses in global markets, with investors
reluctant to buy risky assets ahead of the Christmas holiday.
China stocks also fell, with strength in utility stocks
offset by weak bank and property shares.
The Hang Seng index dropped 0.9 percent, to 21,625.25
points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost
1.3 percent, to 9,208.96 points.
The CSI300 index fell 0.3 percent, to 3,327.58
points, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2
percent, to 3,131.76 points.
In the Hong Kong stock market, which is more exposed to its
global counterparts, the appetite for risk was curbed by a
weaker Wall Street, where investors worried that a post-election
rally meant that stocks were overvalued.
Meanwhile, trading was thin with many investors already
departing ahead of the weekend's Christmas break.
"Investors are inactive as the holiday is near," said Linus
Yip, strategist at First Shanghai Securities Ltd, adding there
was little news to change the market's sluggish trend.
Yip said sentiment was also partly hurt by the weaknesses
among Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong, with banks dragged
down by persistent liquidity concerns on the mainland.
Nearly all sectors in Hong Kong retreated at the lunch
break, with financial stocks among the biggest
decliners, down more than 1 percent.
In China, markets were dampened by news the insurance
regulator was making it much harder for insurers to get new
licences, in the latest move to rein in some insurers'
aggressive stock investments that have raised concerns.
A recent bond scandal also weighed on sentiment after
China's central bank asked its branches to look into entrusted
bond holding agreements between some commercial banks and
Property stocks fell after President Xi Jinping
said China's approach to regulating its red-hot property market
would include financial, fiscal, tax, land, and regulatory
measures as Beijing looks to develop a long-term mechanism for
an industry prone to speculation.
"The markets wobble in a narrow range today, but room for
further declines is limited," said Zhang Yanbin, an analyst at
Zheshang Securities, adding that some state-owned enterprises
(SOE) continued to benefit from Beijing's support of
Energy shares received a boost from index heavyweight
PetroChina Co Ltd, which climbed to a nearly
one-year intraday high on restructuring hopes.
"But companies remain short of money as China's fiscal
year-end on Dec. 31 is close, so they are unwilling to go long
on stocks," Zhang said.
(Reporting by Jackie Cai and John Ruwitch; Editing by