November 20, 2014 / 5:12 AM / 3 years ago

China stocks fall on economy worries, Hong Kong steady

* HSI +0.1 pct, HSCE +0.1 pct, CSI300 -0.1 pct, SSEC -0.1 pct

* Profit-taking continues, weak data adds to econ worries

* Sluggish demand from HK on mainland shares

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI, Nov 20 (Reuters) - China shares fell on Thursday on fresh worries over the cooling economy and as profit-taking pressure persisted after the launch of a landmark Hong Kong-Shanghai trading link.

Growth in China's vast factory sector stalled in November, with output contracting for the first time in six months, a private survey showed.

At midday, the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.1 percent at 2,448.6 points. The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen also fell 0.1 percent.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged up 0.1 percent to 23,388.95 after falling for three straight sessions. The China Enterprises Index of top Chinese listings in Hong Kong also inched up 0.1 percent.

Investors on the mainland have been offloading shares which had risen in the run-up to the launch of the so-called Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connect on Monday, and foreign investors have so far shown lukewarm interest in Chinese shares.

"Further uptakes of A-shares will be much slower as the excitement around the stock connect was exhausted on the debut day," said Du Changchun, analyst at Northeast Securities in Shanghai.

Analysts attributed the lack of demand from international investors to the premium on A-shares over H-shares as well as concerns over the Chinese economy.

The AH Premium index of dual listed shares stood at 101.81, indicating mainland share were carrying a slight premium over the Hong Kong-listed counterparts.

The take-up of northbound quotas for A-shares remained sluggish on Thursday, with only 7 percent of the daily 13 billion yuan ($2.12 billion) limit being used by midday.

Technical indicators had also been signalling the mainland market had been due for a correction following strong gains. The 14-day Relative Strength Index, a key indicator used to gauge whether an asset is overbought or oversold, for the SSE composite had hovered over 70 last week, signalling it was vulnerable to a correction.

Among the gainers, China's top two brokerage firms - CITIC Securities Co Ltd and Haitong Securities Co Ltd - rose 1.5 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

Hong Kong Stock Exchange fell 1.1 percent as it remained the stock most actively traded share by value in Hong Kong.

Timber company Superb Summit halted trading after shedding 5.8 percent after investment research firm Muddy Waters said it was shorting the shares due to concerns about the veracity its accounts. (1 US dollar = 6.1236 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Clare Jim in HONG KONG, Shanghai newsroom; Editing by Kazunori Takada & Kim Coghill)

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