SHANGHAI: China stocks fell on Thursday, led by coal miners as Beijing stepped up efforts to tame coal prices, while financial and healthcare shares weighed on Hong Kong's benchmark index.
The CSI300 index fell 0.3% to 4,882.04 by the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.9% to 3,529.00.
The Hang Seng index dropped 0.1% to 25,604.81. The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 0.4% to 9,061.13.
** Coal firms extended losses, down nearly 8% on the day, amid China's intensifying efforts to cool surging coal prices.
** China's state planner has met with coal producers and the sector's industry association in the past two days to study standards, identify methods of profiteering and discuss measures to intervene in coal prices.
** The energy sub-index and the resource industries sub-index tumbled 6.9% and 4.5%, accordingly.
** But consumption stocks rose, with consumer staples up 1.2% and liquor makers up 1.5%.
** The coal mining sector is likely to remain volatile as the policy direction of taming coal prices is becoming clearer, Shanxi Securities said in a note.
** It said there are some opportunities in the undervalued sectors like consumer electronics, food and beverage and healthcare.
** In Hong Kong, the financials sub-index and the healthcare sub-index lost around 1% each.
** Ping An Insurance Group plunged 3.9%, the second-biggest percentage decliner on the Hang Seng Index, after it posted a 31.2% fall in third-quarter net profit on Wednesday.
** The energy and power-intensive materials sectors slumped 2.2% and 4.7%, respectively.
** Tech giants edged up, with the information technology sub-index gaining 0.8%.