Chinese and Hong Kong stocks saw a choppy session up to the midday break on Wednesday, as investors sought clarity from the authorities in Beijing to give the market direction the next few days. The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.21 per cent to finish morning trade at 3,655.26, having risen more than 1 per cent in early dealings. The CSI 300 Index of large-cap companies eased 0.38 per cent to 3796.76. Transportation, cement and national defense led the gainers, while weakness was seen in oil majors, brokerage firms and banks, even though the People’s Bank of China indicated that policy would remain loose. The Shenzhen Composite Index lost 0.56 per cent to 2099.89, while the ChiNext Board fell 1.56 per cent to 2,541.66. The Hang Seng Index was up 0.05 per cent to close at 24,515. “Financial stocks are underperforming after a couple of days of solid results as a growing concern over the future direction of the market with investors taking the wait-and-see approach,” said Gerry Alfonso, a director of Shenwan Hongyuan Securities. He added Beijing’s market-boosting measures seem to have stabilised the gyrations in the stock markets, but they did little to persuade retail investors to come back and buy up shares. In Hong Kong, gains in natural gas distributor Kunlun Energy and supply chain manager Li & Fung were offset by a pullback in the prices of Ping An Insurance and China Mengniu Dairy. The H-share Index edged up 0.23 per cent to finish at 11,198, inspired by gains in auto duo BYD and Guangzhou Automobile, both of whom are up more than 2 per cent each.