China stocks slump on weak factory activity; Hong Kong also down
* CSI300 -3.1 pct; SSE -3.0 pct; HSI -2.3 pct
* China factory activity shrinks, adding to growth concerns
* Investors make speculative bets as they lose direction-analyst
SHANGHAI, Aug 21 (Reuters) - China stocks tumbled more than 3 percent on Friday morning, heading for their biggest weekly loss in nearly two months, as weak factory activity deepened concerns about the economy.
A sharp economic slowdown comes at a time when investors are already fretting about a possible withdrawal of government support for the volatile stock market.
Stock index futures also fell sharply across the board, signalling that bears have the upper hand against bulls as they face a showdown in the afternoon when August contracts will be settled.
The CSI300 index of China's biggest listed companies fell 3.1 percent, to 3,646.45 points at the lunch break, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 3.0 percent, to 3,552.82 points.
Both indexes are set to fall over 10 percent for the week, and not far from a low hit on July 9 during the height of the recent market rout, calling into question whether a series of government rescue measures will help keep prices stable.
Hong Kong stocks also fell sharply, following tumbles in China and global markets. Continuación...