Hong Kong stocks moved off their opening gains to sit little changed early Monday, with strength in real estate and most airlines helping to support the market. The Hang Seng Index showed just marginal gains after opening 0.3% higher, seemingly taking a rest after a 1.3% rally Friday. Hong Kong's mainland-China-tracking H-share index was down 0.3%, while over in Shanghai, the Composite Index was up 0.1%. Mainland-exposed real-estate developers saw solid gains in Hong Kong, with the moves following a monthly survey in China Confidential showing a sharp rebound in home sales last month, according to the Financial Times. China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd. rose 1.8%, China Vanke Co. gained 2.5%, China Resources Land Ltd. advanced 1.8%, and Agile Property Holdings Ltd. jumped 4.8%. Among the retail-linked names, Prada SpA rose 1.6%, Esprit Holdings Ltd. added 1%, and Samsonite International SA climbed 3.1% after announcing an almost 19% rise in quarterly sales. Airlines also traded mostly higher as the oil price fell, with Air China Ltd. up 1.2%, and China Southern Airlines Co. up 1.5%. On the downside, Standard Chartered PLC added to its recent losses, falling 2% amid ongoing concerns about another possible U.S. investigation into Iran sanctions violations at the lender. Also retreating, PetroChina Co. fell 1.3% amid weaker crude oil, and China Telecom Corp. lost 2% as it reported late last week slowing subscriber growth in the January-September period. Also among the losers, Want Want China Holdings Ltd. lost 2.5%, Belle International Holdings Ltd. fell 0.9% after recent gains, and Wharf Holdings Ltd. gave up 1%. On the data front, a pair of manufacturing gauges painted competing pictures of the sector, with the official Purchasing Managers' Index at a five-month low, while HSBC's PMI was at a three-month high.
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