Hong Kong shares end mixed, China listings buoyed by restructuring hopes
HONG KONG Aug 10 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares ended mixed on Monday, with disappointing China economic data and the growing prospects of a U.S. interest rate hike next month weighing on blue chips.
Shares of Chinese firms listed in Hong Kong rose, however, tracking strong gains in mainland markets which were fuelled by hopes that Beijing will soon announce restructuring in key industries such as shipping.
The Hang Seng index ended 0.1 percent lower at 24,521.1 points, while the China Enterprises Index climbed 0.6 percent to 11,291.7, its highest close since July 24.
A U.S. rate hike as early as September could cloud the picture for further gains in Hong Kong's market even if markets in mainland China improve. Since Hong Kong's currency is linked to the U.S. dollar, its interest rates tend to follow.
China stocks jumped more than 4 percent on the day on possible restructuring among major shipping firms and in other key sectors, and on hopes that less volatile trading may soon convince fund managers to get off the sidelines and re-invest billions in cash.
China is banking on increased infrastructure spending to support the economy in the second half of the year, while its top economic planning body said on Monday the property market was likely to continue to improve in the second half of this year.
Close to 300 China funds that oversee more than 1 trillion yuan ($161 billion) are sitting on the sidelines with "ammunition" to enter the stock markets at any time, the Shanghai Securities News reported on Friday, citing its own calculations.
Goldman Sachs analysts estimate that the "national team" has potentially spent 860-900 billion yuan to support the stock market in June-July and the potential aggregate size of market-support funds is probably around 2 trillion yuan. (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Kim Coghill)
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