China stocks firm on earnings recovery hopes; HK down after Yellen speech
* SSEC 0.1 pct, CSI300 0.1 pct, HSI -0.3 pct
* Interim results show clear improvement in bloated sectors
* Banks may take a hit from Beijing's debt-to-equity plan
SHANGHAI, Aug 29 (Reuters) - China stocks were firm on Monday morning as a slew of mid-year company earnings reports showed tentative signs of bottoming-out in struggling sectors such as coal and steel, with further recovery expected in the second half.
But Hong Kong stocks, which are more vulnerable to global money flows, dropped after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated an interest rate increase remains on the cards for this year.
Both the blue-chip CSI300 index and the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.1 percent, to 3,311.31 points and 3,071.79 points, respectively, by lunch break.
As of last Friday, over 2,000 China-listed companies had released interim results, while the remainder will publish earnings this week.
For investors grappling with an economy showing signs of stress in many sectors, there were clear earnings improvement in the much-maligned bloated sectors.
These included positive earnings growth in the coal industry, while the steel sector swung to a profit and profit decline at construction materials firms narrowed sharply, according to UBS. Continuación...