Hong Kong stocks traded lower early Friday, with housing shares falling on weak data, and banks reacting negatively to a smaller-than-expected profit from Bank of Communications Co. . The Hang Seng Index was down 0.3% about 20 minutes into trade -- recovering from a 0.8% deficit at the open -- while the H-share index tracking mainland Chinese names also lost 0.3%, even as the Shanghai Composite rose 0.3%. Shares of China Construction Bank were down 0.5%, also off their initial losses, after the lender's 5% gain in third-quarter profit missed the consensus estimate from Thomson One Analytics. Several other major mainland banks also pulled back, with Bank of Communications Co. down 0.7%, and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. down 0.4%, though Bank of China Ltd. was flat, and China Merchants Bank Co. added 0.3%. Mainland China-exposed real-estate shares also trended lower, with China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd. down 0.9%, China Resources Land Ltd. off 0.7%, and Greentown China Holdings Ltd. lower by 0.3%, though China Vanke Co. managed a 0.1% gain. The moves came after China reported a drop in new-home prices. While the numbers are reported on a quarterly basis, both Dow Jones Newswires and Reuters put the drop for September at 1% compared to August. In other moves, auto maker Great Wall Motor Co. fell 2.3% after reporting a 2% drop in third-quarter profit compared to a year earlier, while China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. rose 2.9% and China Mobile Ltd. added 1.3%, recovering from recent losses.
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