Wednesday, June 18 09:04:35
China shares finished the morning session lower on Wednesday, as banks continued to pull back after recent strong gains, while Hong Kong stocks were flat in muted volumes.
In the mainland, the first four Chinese companies to push ahead with initial public offerings after a four-month lull have started to take subscriptions and aim to raise a combined 1.7 billion yuan ($273.8 million). Seven IPOs have been approved.
By midday, the Hang Seng Index ticked down 0.1 percent at 23,192.79 points. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 0.3 percent.
The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings edged down 0.2 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.5 percent at 2,056.35 points.
Midday volume in Hong Kong was the weakest this month, and some 20 percent below its average over the past 20 sessions.
"The Hong Kong market is kind of stuck at the current level, waiting for some breakthrough. Whether China can sustain its rebound is a key," said Jackson Wong, vice-president of Tanrich Securities.
He added that for fund managers, the World Cup is drawing some attention away from the market.
Data released on Wednesday showed China's average new home prices edged down for the first time in two years in May, underlining a downtrend taking hold in the market as the economy slows.
Despite downbeat figures, the property sector rebounded slightly with the CSI property sub index up 0.4 percent after falling for the previous two sessions. Poly Real Estate Group and China Vanke held on to slim midday gains of 0.4 and 0.5 percent. (Reuters)