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Nikkei Markets

Hong Kong shares extend losses as protests continue

Tencent slides after reporting weaker third-quarter earnings

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Hong Kong shares headed lower on Thursday, as extended unrest in the city clouded investor sentiment, while weaker-than-expected Chinese data fueled concerns over the health of Asia's largest economy.

The Hang Seng Index shed 0.9% to 26,326.24 by noon after closing at a one-month low on Wednesday. Social media and gaming major Tencent Holdings fell 2.7% following a 13% decline in third-quarter net profit that missed analysts' expectations. It was the biggest contributor to the gauge's losses by points. Financial heavyweights AIA Group and HSBC Holdings slid 1.9% and 0.5%, respectively.

Unrest in Hong Kong continued for a fourth straight day on Thursday. The city's schools have been suspended through to Sunday as protesters continue to block roads and disrupt train services. Tensions flared this week after a protester was shot and injured by the police on Monday. Last week, a teenage protester died of injuries sustained following a fall near demonstrations.

Anti-government protests in Hong Kong are in their sixth month as activists demand broader democratic rights. The movement started peacefully in June to oppose an extradition bill, which was withdrawn in September.

"The market is not overreacting," said Louie Shum, chief executive at Sincere Securities. "Local protests could further hamper investor confidence. The Hang Seng Index has not yet completely factored in negative news."

In the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index edged 0.1% higher in midday trading despite disappointing economic data. The yuan traded onshore was little changed at 7.0219 to the dollar.

China's industrial output and retail sales grew at a slower than expected pace in October, data on Thursday showed. Industrial output rose 4.7% last month, missing the 5.4% reading economists polled by Reuters were expecting. Retail sales were up 7.2% year-over-year in October, also lower than an estimate of 7.9%. Fixed asset investment climbed 5.2% in the January-to-October period. Analysts polled by Reuters were expecting growth of 5.4%.

Cathay Pacific Airways slipped 1.1% in Hong Kong after reporting a 7.1% decrease in total passengers carried during October.

Kingsoft jumped 8.8% after the software and internet services provider said it is considering a possible spin off and separate listing for its subsidiary Kingsoft Cloud Holdings on a recognized stock exchange. The company also reported a 32% jump in third-quarter revenue and swung to a profit following a loss last year.

FIH Mobile, majority owned by Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry, added 2.8% after swinging to a profit in the July-to-September period from a loss in the year-ago period.

Sporting goods manufacturer 361 Degrees International slumped 19.4%. The company late Wednesday said KPMG had resigned as its auditor, as 361 Degrees and KPMG could not reach a consensus on the audit service fee for the company's annual audit.

-- Benny Kung

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