Chinese stocks struggled Tuesday morning, with Hong Kong and Shanghai benchmarks seesawing in early moves despite news of a bailout deal for Greece that helped to lift other markets in Asia and in the West. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index eased 0.2% lower to trim its 1.3% gain on Monday, while the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.9% after briefly breaching positive territory. The choppy action occurred as hundreds of shares reportedly came off their recent trading halts, with Sohu Finance reporting the resumption of trade in about 350 names on Monday and another 250 on Tuesday. While the return of some shares were greeted with declines, others took a bounce, including a 19% climb for ZTE Corp. in Hong Kong. On the downside, energy shares dragged on Hong Kong, with crude-oil futures falling as a deal to ease sanctions on Iran was reportedly imminent. PetroChina Co. lost 1.1%, and Cnooc Ltd. gave up 1%, while coal extractor China Resources Power Holdings Co. retreated 1.9%. Financials were mixed, with index heavyweight HSBC Holdings PLC down 1%, but Bank of Communications Co. adding 0.5%. Also weighing on Hong Kong, shares of Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd. sank 3.9% as the company warned of a 40% drop in its net profit for the first half of the year. On the upside, the Macau casino stocks saw some very strong gains (Sands China Ltd. up 5.3%, Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. up 3.4%, Wynn Macau Ltd. up 3.5%) on news that authorities may relax anti-smoking rules at the gambling houses.
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