China stocks soft amid murky economic outlook, small caps in play
* CSI300 -0.5 pct; SSEC unchanged; HSI +0.4 pct
* Market circumspect foreign investors can short sell China shares
* HSBC PMI data points to uncertain economic outlook
By Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney
SHANGHAI, Feb 25 (Reuters) - China share markets held a soft tone on Wednesday as trading resumed after a week-long holiday, with some investors taking profits after an extended pre-holiday rally.
Analysts said that investors had shrugged off the positive surprise from industrial activity data on Wednesday morning and sold on disappointment that the central bank had not further eased interest rates over the holiday break.
"After seven consecutive (trading) days of index gains, the market is cautious after a long holiday given no fresh easing policies were announced," said Shen Zhengyang, Shanghai-based analyst at Northeast Securities.
"There's mounting uncertainty, and controversy, over when stimulus policies would be announced and how effective they would be."
The CSI300 index fell 0.5 percent to 3,504.74 points at the end of the morning session, led by financial stocks. Continuación...