* SSEC -0.3 pct, CSI300 -0.3 pct, HSI -0.4 pct
* Resources shares drop on lower commodity prices
SHANGHAI Feb 24 China stocks fell on Friday
morning as weakness in resources shares offset strength in
small-caps, but the main indexes are poised to gain for the
third straight week amid improving risk appetite.
Hong Kong shares followed other Asian markets lower, as
material shares in the region were hit by sudden fall in copper
and other commodity prices.
China's blue-chip CSI300 index dipped 0.3 percent,
to 3,463.93 by lunch break, but has gained 1.3 percent so far
this week. The Shanghai Composite Index also lost 0.3
percent to 3,242.12.
Wu Kan, head of equity trading at Shanshan Finance,
attributed Friday's weakness to some investors taking profit
after robust gains recently in certain sectors such as metal,
but argued the correction helps gather further upward momentum.
"Market sentiment remains optimistic and the upward trend is
not yet broken," Wu said.
"The upcoming National People's Congress, and the
first-quarter earnings season will keep investors excited."
Reflecting rising risk appetite, China's outstanding margin
loans have risen for four consecutive days to exceed 900 billion
yuan ($131.07 billion), as investors appear more willing to use
borrowed money to buy stocks.
Small-caps outperformed blue-chips on Friday morning, with
Shenzhen's growth board ChiNext rising 0.5 percent.
Banking stocks fell 0.3 percent, as news of Guo
Shuqing, governor of China's eastern Shandong province, becoming
China's new top banking regulator brings uncertainty to a sector
facing increasing deleveraging pressure.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dropped 0.4 percent
to 24,031.23, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index
lost 0.7 percent to 10,450.87.
The indexes are poised to end the week roughly flat.
Most sectors fell, with resources and energy shares
leading the decline.
($1 = 6.8667 Chinese yuan)
(Writing by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Gopakumar