October 17, 2016 / 5:01 AM / 2 years ago

Hong Kong stocks dip, China shares flat; China economic data in focus

* SSEC 0.1 pct, CSI300 0.0 pct, HSI -0.4 pct

* China economic data in focus this week - trader

* China economy likely grew 6.7 pct in Q3 - Reuters poll

SHANGHAI, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares edged lower while Chinese stocks were largely flat on Monday as investors curbed their risk appetite ahead of a slew of China data this week that will paint a clearer picture of the world’s second largest economy.

But there are no signs of panic selling despite continued weakness in the yuan, which some traders attribute mainly to the prospects of a U.S. rate hike in December, rather than rapid deterioration in China’s economic health.

By the midday break, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index had lost 0.4 percent to 23,134.75, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index had dipped 0.1 percent to 9,587.79.

China’s blue-chip CSI300 index and the Shanghai Composite Index were little changed.

The recent correction in Hong Kong stocks is natural after the market’s strong rally last quarter, and as mainland money inflows have fallen sharply this month, said Alex Wong, Hong Kong-based director at Ample Finance Group.

“The market is looking for a direction. This week’s China economic data will be in focus,” Wong said, adding September data so far - including encouraging production activity data and worse-than-expected export data - had sent mixed signals.

China’s economy likely grew 6.7 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, the same pace as in the previous quarter, according to a Reuters poll of economists on GDP data to be released on Wednesday.

Other China economic data to be released this week include money supply, loan growth, urban investment, industrial output and retail sales.

Property shares in both Hong Kong and China fell as investors fear developers’ revenues will be adversely impacted by Beijing’s fresh real estate curbs.

But industrial shares were firm, with some investors betting the sector is bottoming out, after China’s producer prices unexpectedly rose in September for the first time in nearly five years.

Investors’ excitement toward China’s state company reforms continued to ferment on Monday, with Yunnan Tin Co ltd surging 10 percent, the maximum allowed, on a debt-to-equity swap deal struck between its parent and China Construction Bank.

Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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