2 de julio de 2014 / 5:03 / en 3 años

Hong Kong benchmark hits highest since December on property gains; China slips

* HSI +1.0 pct, H-shares +0.6 pct, CSI300 -0.4 pct

* Hong Kong property firms move up sharply

* Macau casinos advance despite soft June revenue data

* Fangda plunges after owner removed from China’s parliament (Updates to midday)

By Grace Li

HONG KONG, July 2 (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s benchmark index rose to its highest in almost seven months early Wednesday, buoyed by upbeat China and U.S. data and an outperforming property sector.

China shares finished a choppy morning session down, mainly hurt by losses in a few heavyweight stocks, while new listings continuing to jump by the daily limit.

Gains in Hong Kong came as the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan hit a three-year peak after upbeat global economic data whetted risk appetites and helped Wall Street reach all-time highs.

Manufacturing activity in China and the U.S. expanded further in June, data showed on Tuesday, when Hong Kong markets were closed for a public holiday.

At midday, the Hang Seng Index was up 1.0 percent at 23,414.64 points. During the monring it touched its highest level since Dec. 10. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong gained 0.6 percent.

The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings was off 0.4 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.2 percent at 2,045.66 points. Both swung between negative and positive territory in the morning.

“Even though the (Hong Kong) market is now up more than 200 points, and also sees some inflow of liquidity, most long-term investors still believe the market will be range-bound for some more time, because the 23,500 level remains a very strong resistance,” said Steven Leung, sales director at brokerage UOB Kay Hian.

High-yielding, defensive Hong Kong property developers were broadly higher aided by improved liquidity. The real estate sub-sector index was up 2.1 percent.

New World Development, Henderson Land Development and Cheung Kong Holdings all added more than 2.5 percent.

Macau gambling counters were also stronger, shrugging off Tuesday data showing revenue in the world’s largest casino hub fell 3.7 percent in June from a year earlier, the first decline in more than four years.

MGM China Holdings leapt 3.5 percent, while Galaxy Entertainment Group and SJM Holdings both added 2.8 percent.

Analysts said the revenue decline was not as bad as expected and the picture should improve after the World Cup ends. FangDa Carbon New Material was a drag on mainland markets, sinking 8.7 percent after the company said its owner has been removed as a member of China’s parliament. ($1 = 7.7500 Hong Kong Dollars) (Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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