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China shares fall again, hitting Hong Kong, as money rates spike

Yimou Lee
Wednesday, 18 Dec 2013 | 11:41 PM ET

* HSI flat, H-shares -0.3 pct, CSI300 -0.2 pct

* China shares fall after money rates hike

* Hong Kong shares underperform Asia after Fed decision

* Fu Shou Yuan shares jump 53 pct in Hong Kong debut

Dec 19 (Reuters) - China shares surrendered early gains on Thursday, weighing on Hong Kong markets, as moves by the U.S. Federal Reserve took a back-seat to wariness among investors after China's money rates spiked for a second day.

Hong Kong shares underperformed most Asian markets after the Fed said it would start to trim its stimulus but would keep interest rates for some time.

At midday, the Hang Seng Index was flat at 23,153.27 points, while the China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong fell 0.3 percent.

The CSI300 fell 0.2 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.1 percent at 2,146.38 points and could be on track for a eighth straight daily loss.

Trading volumes in Shanghai remained weak and were some 20 percent below the 20-day average by midday. Wednesday's level was the lowest in more than five months.

"The Fed news is absolutely good for the U.S. stock markets, but it's another story for other markets because some funding may flow back," said Linus Yip, a Hong Kong-based strategist at First Shanghai Securities.

"The market confidence is still there, but the hike in China's money rates has put some pressures and (China markets) will go into a short to mid-term consolidation," Yip said.

Analysts said investors were disappointed after China's central bank declined to inject fresh funds during open market operations. China's benchmark seven-day bond repurchase contract rose sharply again on Thursday after a similar rise the previous day.

Chinese financials led losses among industry groups. China's second-largest insurer Ping An Insurance and China Minsheng Bank both slipped more than 1 percent in Shanghai.

STRONG TRADING DEBUT

Chinese shipping counters were also weak. China Shipbuilding Industry Co fell 1.6 percent to a one-month low in Shanghai, while China Shipping Development dropped 1.1 percent.

Shares in Fu Shou Yuan International Group Ltd, China's largest provider of funeral services, soared 53 percent from its IPO offering price in its Hong Kong trading debut on Thursday, leading a pack of first-day trading pops in the city.

Among other companies that rose in their debuts on Thursday were Kerry Logistics, up 3.9 percent, and Consun Pharmaceutical, which gained 9.9 percent.