[HONG KONG] Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index ended lower on Monday, tracking China indexes on weak factory activity, but buying interest in HSBC after it posted forecast-beating results pulled the blue-chip index off its low.
HSBC beat expectations with a 10 per cent rise in first-half profit on Monday and said it had agreed on the sale of its unprofitable Brazilian unit. That sent the stock up 1.9 per cent, its biggest gain since July 9.
The Hang Seng index fell 0.9 per cent to close at 24,411.42 points. The China Enterprises Index lost 1.1 per cent to 11,009.96 points.
Shanghai shares fell on Monday as a survey showed weak factory activity and some investors stayed on the sidelines after mainland stocks suffered their worst monthly loss in six years in July.
Analysts said investors in Hong Kong awaited major earning reports.
China Mengniu Dairy was the biggest loser of the blue chips index, falling 4.3 per cent, while Great Wall Motor led the drop of the Chinese enterprise index, falling 3.5 per cent.
Ping An Insurance, which fell 2.6 per cent, was the day's most actively traded stock.