April 26, 2016 / 5:01 AM / 2 years ago

Resource firms lead China share indexes lower; Hong Kong also down

* CSI300 -0.2 pct; SSEC -0.3 pct; HSI -0.8 pct

* Resource shares drop as commodity prices fall after crackdown

* Profits at China SOEs fall 13.8 pct y/y in Q1

SHANGHAI, April 26 (Reuters) - China stocks slipped on Tuesday morning, led by resource companies, as the recent commodities boom showed some signs of cooling in response to a government crackdown on speculation.

Hong Kong shares also weakened, tracking regional markets, as investors braced for central bank policy meetings in the United States and Japan this week.

The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.2 percent, to 3,155.79 points by the lunch break, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3 percent, to 2,938.52 points.

Investors have become increasingly cautious as the SSEC has closed below the 3,000 mark for five consecutive days - seen by many as a technical sign that the rebound since early March has ended.

There were also few bright spots in economic fundamentals. Profits at China’s state-owned firms fell 13.8 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday.

The Institute of International Finance (IIF) estimated that global investors are expected to pull $538 billion out of China’s slowing economy in 2016, although the pace of outflows has dropped from last year.

And reflecting reduced risk appetite among mainland investors, China’s outstanding margin loans shrank for four sessions in a row.

Most sectors on the mainland fell on Tuesday, with resource shares among the biggest decliners.

Shares of steelmakers, cooper producers and gold miners fell, as prices of some commodities futures including iron ore and rebar started to fall in response to the regulatory crackdown on speculative trading.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dropped 0.8 percent, to 21,131.32 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 1.1 percent, to 8,883.68.

Reporting by Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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