July 19, 2018 / 9:07 AM / a month ago

HK shares drop, led by airlines, as yuan falls to 1-yr low vs dollar

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 3.5 pct, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 1.1 pct

* HSI -0.4 pct, HSCE -0.5 pct, CSI300 -0.1 pct

* Yuan falls to 1-year low vs dollar; hits airlines

July 19 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares fell on Thursday, as an accelerated depreciation of the Chinese currency hit airline stocks and soured investor appetite for yuan-based assets.

** The Hang Seng index fell 0.4 percent, to 28,010.86, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.5 percent, to 10,523.24 points.

** The Chinese yuan fell to a one-year low against the dollar, having weakened about 7 percent against the greenback since the end of the first quarter. ** Hong Kong-listed air carriers, including Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines , slumped amid concerns that a weaker yuan could make their heavy dollar borrowings more costly. ** Yuan’s slide also damps interest in Hong Kong-listed Chinese companies whose revenues are mostly yuan-denominated, with the performance of the Hang Seng Chinese Enterprises index and the yuan increasingly correlated. **The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 0.5 percent, the IT sector fell 0.71 percent, the financial sector was 0.21 percent lower and the property sector declined 0.54 percent. ** The top gainer on Hang Seng was China Life Insurance Co Ltd up 1.02 percent, while the biggest loser was Want Want China Holdings Ltd which was down 3.78 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.35 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.13 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.7718 per U.S. dollar at 08:53 GMT, 0.76 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.7205. ** The top gainers among H-shares were New China Life Insurance Co Ltd up 4.14 percent, followed by Huaneng Power International Inc gaining 3.35 percent and Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd up by 1.29 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Air China Ltd, which was down 4.86 percent, Postal Savings Bank of China Co Ltd, which fell 2.8 percent, and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd down by 2.7 percent. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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