China stocks slump again, more companies halt trading; Hong Kong also hit
* CSI300 -4.8 pct; SSEC -3.9 pct; HSI -4.2 pct
* Nearly half of China-listed companies have halted trading
* Investors dump blue chips to reduce risk exposure - analyst
SHANGHAI, July 8 (Reuters) - China stocks tumbled to four-month lows on Wednesday morning as investors dumped both small and big caps, defying government attempts to stabilize the market, while nearly half of Chinese listed companies have halted trading to insulate themselves from the meltdown.
The panic in mainland markets is rippling across the border, knocking the Hong Kong market down more than 4 percent. Overseas-listed Chinese companies also slumped.
The Shanghai Composite Index opened 7 percent lower, but erased some of the losses by midday, down 3.9 percent. The CSI300 Index of China's biggest companies dropped 4.8 percent.
Most blue chips fell, even amid fresh government support, and signs that government-backed investors are buying into financial heavyweights and oil giants including PetroChina and Sinopec to anchor market sentiment.
Some analysts attribute Wednesday's sell-off in blue chips to share suspensions by a huge number of small caps.
On Wednesday, more than 500 China-listed firms announced trading halts, bringing the total number to around 1,300, almost half of China's roughly 2,800 "A share" listed companies. Continuación...