Hong Kong shares close down 0.3pc, weak China PMIs weigh


Hong Kong shares fell from a seven-week high on Thursday as soft China manufacturing data put growth-sensitive counters on the defensive after markets returned from the Labour Day holiday.

The Hang Seng Index closed down 0.3 per cent at 22,668.3, pulling away from Tuesday’s seven-week closing high. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong shed 0.9 per cent.

The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings closed a choppy session up 0.1 per cent. The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.2 per cent to 2,174.1, closing just below its 200-day moving average for the first time since Christmas Eve.

Jiangxi Copper fell 1.2 per cent as Shanghai copper prices tumbled nearly 5 per cent after the final HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for China dropped to 50.4 in April from March’s 51.6. China’s official PMI on Wednesday fell to 50.6 in April from an 11-month high of 50.9 in March.

Chinese property developers rose after the weak data boosted hopes that Beijing will relent on the enforcement of home price curbs despite average home prices in China’s 100 biggest cities posting an eleventh month-on-month price in April, a private survey showed on Thursday.

Lenovo Group tumbled 2.7 per cent in its worst day in two weeks after Fortune magazine reported that the Chinese personal computer maker and IBM have called off negotiations over a multibillion-dollar deal for Big Blue’s low-end server business.