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China home sales, Macau gaming plays lacklustre despite Golden Week holiday

[SHANGHAI] China's Golden Week is leaving investors flat as figures from home sales to Macau casino revenue disappointed.

Chinese property developers slumped in Hong Kong after the Economic Information Daily said new home sales tumbled in Beijing and Shanghai compared with a year earlier. Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd sank as much as 3.4 per cent, with the Power Macao Gaming Association saying revenue was at best slightly higher versus the previous year. Hna-Caissa Travel Group Co led losses by tourism-related stocks on the mainland after retail sales and restaurant receipts grew at a slower pace.

Investor optimism had been high that the holiday, dubbed "Super Golden Week" because it lasted eight days instead of the usual seven, would lead to bumper earnings. The MSCI China Index, which closed at a decade-high on Friday, fell 0.4 per cent at 10.47am in Hong Kong.

China Evergrande Group slumped 3.8 per cent, while Guangzhou R&F Properties Co slid as much as 5.2 per cent.

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New home sales in Beijing dropped to 116 units during the National Day holiday, the lowest since 2009, the Economic Information Daily reported, citing data from Centaline Property. New home sales in Shanghai plunged 78 per cent to 178 units, according to the report, which also cited declining sales in Nanjing.

Galaxy was the biggest loser on Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index, while Sands China Ltd dropped 2.3 per cent. While casinos were crowded, visitors didn't necessarily gamble, said Stephen Lau, president of Power Macao Gaming Association, an organisation that represents casino workers. 

"Gaming revenue for the holiday was flat compared with last year, or only grew slightly," Mr Lau said.

Hna-Caissa Travel and UTour Group Co retreated more than 6 per cent. Retail sales and restaurant receipts rose 10.3 per cent during the holiday period, down from 10.7 per cent last year and 11 per cent in 2015, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

"Slower growth in retail sales hurt sentiment and led to consumer-linked shares' underperformance today," said Ken Chen, Shanghai based analyst with KGI Securities Co. "Investors are also selling down names that rallied before the holiday to lock in profits."

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