China stocks firm on property shares; Hong Kong hit by global weakness
* CSI300 +0.2 pct; SSEC +0.3 pct; HSI -1.7 pct
* Sentiment underpinned by rally in property, Shanghai SOEs
* Money flowing into gold and bonds as risk appetite reduced
SHANGHAI, Aug 3 (Reuters) - China stocks edged higher on Wednesday as property shares rallied for a second day and on growing expectations of state-owned enterprise (SOE) reforms.
But trading volume in Shanghai, which shrank to a two-month low on Tuesday, remained thin amid signs that investors are turning their focus to gold and bonds.
China's blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.2 percent to 3,195.81 points by the lunch break, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3 percent to 2,979.44.
In Hong Kong, main indexes dropped over 1 percent, tracking losses in global equity markets.
Lingering concerns over China's economy continued to haunt investors. A private survey showed on Wednesday that growth in the services sector cooled in July, with weaker expansions in activity prompting companies to shed staff for first time in four months.
Although regulators are hoping to guide capital into the real economy with tighter rules, analysts say liquidity is actually flowing into perceived safe haven assets such as bonds and gold. Continuación...