* HSI -0.5 pct, H-shares -0.4 pct, CSI300 -0.1 pct
* Consumer staple sector leads Hang Seng slide
* Turnover lackluster before quarter-end, holiday next week (Updates to midday)
By Grace Li
HONG KONG, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s main share index opened down on Friday following New York’s fall, but losses were pared by rebounding casinos, while mainland markets were tepid.
At midday, the Hang Seng Index was down 0.5 percent at 23,658.97 points, recovering from being off 0.9 percent in early trading. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong was off 0.4 percent.
Both appeared headed for their third straight weekly loss, as they were down 2.7 and 1.8 percent, respectively, at midday.
The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings inched 0.1 percent lower, while the Shanghai Composite Index was little changed at 2,345.88 points. They were up 0.4 and 0.7 percent on the week, respectively.
Trading volumes in both China and Hong Kong were light ahead of the quarter-end and holidays next week. Markets in the mainland will shut Oct. 1-7 for National Day holidays, while Hong Kong will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday.
On Friday, the Hong Kong market “just followed the steps of Dow Jones,” said Mark To, head of research at Wing Fung Financial Group. U.S. stocks ended with sharp losses overnight, with the Dow Jones industrial average down 1.5 percent.
In To’s view, Hong Kong’s downtrend stems from the strong US dollar and how investors “have been enjoying the Shanghai-Hong Kong connector as the theme of investment for the last six months.”
Since early September, investors have been taking profit “and I think that trend is still going,” he said.
Consumer staple stocks were top percentage losers on the Hang Seng. Shoe retailer Belle International Holdings sank 3.1 percent to a two-month low, hurt by slowing China sales, while snack-maker Want Want China Holdings shed 2.4 percent, surrendering Thursday’s gains.
China Mengniu Dairy, which has fallen the past 12 sessions, lost a further 1.9 percent to its lowest since November. The sector has been under pressure due to oversupply, analysts said. In Shanghai, Bright Dairy & Food fell 1.2 percent.
Gains by gambling stocks trimmed the Hong Kong benchmark’s decline. Galaxy Entertainment Group and Sands China both climbed about 3 percent.
In the mainland market, nuclear power-related companies jumped for a second day after the 21st Century Business Herald said the National Energy Administration had a meeting on Thursday to discuss restarting nuclear projects.
Shanghai Electric Group soared the 10 percent daily limit and China XD Electric surged 5.5 percent. (Editing by Richard Borsuk)