(Corrects to China, Hong Kong shares flat in headline)
* HSI -0.2 pct, H-shares +0.1 pct, CSI300 +0.1 pct
* China coal sector falls on continued downward price pressure
* Evergrande jumps after football club deal with Alibaba
By Grace Li
HONG KONG, June 5 (Reuters) - China shares were flat on Thursday, as investors remained cautious and unable to see catalysts for share movement.
Hong Kong ended the morning session slightly down, though H-shares edged up, thanks to Chinese insurers.
Shanghai midday turnover was the weakest since May 23, and about 30 percent below its average in the last 20 sessions. Hong Kong half-day volumes stayed below their 20-day average for a fifth day.
By midday, the Hang Seng Index was down 0.2 percent at 23,101.95 points. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong edged up 0.1 percent.
The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings rose 0.1 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index was flat at 2,024.04 points. Both swung between negative and positive territory in morning trade, though in a small range.
Zhang Qi, a Shanghai-based analyst with Haitong Securities, said little capital is flowing into blue-chips as some investors have concerns about the performance of listed companies.
“The valuations of blue-chip stocks are relatively low,” Zhang said.
Top CSI300 boost was Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Group Hi-Tech, which rose 3.0 percent. China is preparing to scrap controversial tariffs and quotas on the export of rare earth materials after a World Trade Organization panel branded them discriminatory earlier this year, Reuters reported on Wednesday quoting a source.
The coal sector again underperformed in Chinese onshore markets, weighed down by falling prices. Datong Coal Industry shed 3.6 percent and Yanzhou Coal Mining lost 2.1 percent.
Beijing’s expanding efforts to shift from coal to cleaner fuels to combat pollution could affect big investments by coal companies, a research report estimated on Thursday.
Chinese insurers were strong in Hong Kong. China Life Insurance, China Pacific Insurance Group and PICC Property and Casualty added 1.4, 1.0 and 1.2 percent, respectively.
Shares of Italian fashion house Prada slipped 1.2 percent ahead of its February-April results due later on Thursday.
China developer Evergrande Real Estate Group jumped 3.3 percent after Alibaba Group Holding agreed to buy a 50 percent stake in its football club. (Reporting by Grace Li; Editing by Richard Borsuk)