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Hong Kong: Shares end down in light volume


[HONG KONG] Hong Kong stocks fell on Wednesday in thin trading, undermined by selling in energy and financial shares, amid lingering worries about China's economy.

The Hang Seng index fell 0.5 per cent, to 21,882.15, while the China Enterprises Index lost 1.3 per cent, to 9,659.88 points.

There's little sign China's economy has bottomed out. A Reuters poll showed that activity in China's manufacturing sector was expected to have contracted for a fifth straight month in December. The official data will be released on Friday, and a similar private survey on Monday. "Many traders are still on holiday, which is why trading volume is light," said Shen Weizheng, fund manager at Shanghai-based Ivy Capital.

However, he was optimistic about next year's performance, saying low valuation of many Hong Kong stocks would attract mainland buyers after China starts the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Connect scheme sometime in 2016.

Most stocks lost ground, with IT among just a few sectors that were in positive territory.

Sinotrans Shipping rose 2.7 per cent, after the Chinese government on Tuesday approved the absorption of the firm's parent, Sinotrans & CSC, into state-owned China Merchants Group.