Hong Kong stocks weakened Friday morning, following a negative lead from the U.S. overnight. The Hang Seng Index edged down 0.2%, with index heavyweight China Mobile Ltd. adding to losses after its earnings results. Shares of China Mobile lost 1.5%, extending a 3.3% slide in the previous session, as the telecoms giant's 2014 profit dropped 10%, slightly below market expectations. Major mainland Chinese banks also declined broadly, with China Merchants Bank Co. and China Minsheng Banking Corp. leading the losses with a drop of 1.5% apiece. Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. and China Construction Bank Corp. retreated 0.7% and 0.6%, respectively. However, Tencent Holdings Ltd. , the second-largest component of the benchmark index, climbed higher by 1.4%, following a 6.7% surge Thursday. While strong earnings out earlier this week were the prime driver of the earlier gains, Tencent stock also appeared to draw support from reports that Zhong An Online Property Insurance, an online insurance joint venture with the heads of Ping An Insurance Group Co. and Alibaba Group Holdings Inc. palnned to raise about $1 billion in its first round of private financing. Shares of Ping An were up 3.7% in early trade -- also helped by its posting a 40% gain in 2014 profit -- while New York-listed Alibaba closed 1.4% higher overnight. Meanwhile, mainland China's Shanghai Composite Index inched lower by less than 0.1%.
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