August 28, 2019 / 9:08 AM / 21 days ago

HK shares end lower amid anti-govt protests, trade war uncertainty

Aug 28 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares extended losses to a third session on Wednesday as uncertainty over the Sino-U.S. trade dispute and the city’s deepening political crisis continued to sap risk appetite.

** The Hang Seng index and the China Enterprises Index ended down 0.2% at 25,615.48 and 9,980.73 points, respectively. ** Earlier in the week, U.S. President Donald Trump predicted a trade deal with China after positive gestures by Beijing, but China’s foreign ministry said it was unaware of any calls made to the United States. ** In addition to uncertainty around the trade war, investors also fear the political crisis in Hong Kong will plunge the Asian financial hub into an economic recession.

** Unrest escalated in Hong Kong in mid-June over a now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial in Communist Party-controlled courts. It has since evolved into calls for greater democracy under the “one country, two systems” formula under which Hong Kong has been administered since 1997, guaranteeing freedoms that include an independent judiciary.

** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares closed 0.5% firmer, while the IT sector ended down 1.64%, the financial sector ended 0.06% higher and the property sector closed up 0.59%. ** The top gainer in the Hang Seng was Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd, which closed 2.05% firmer, while the biggest loser was CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd, which ended down 4.91%. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.08%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.11%. ** The yuan was quoted at 7.1665 per U.S. dollar at 0835 GMT, 0.06% weaker than the previous close of 7.1625. ** The top gainers among H-shares were ENN Energy Holdings Ltd up 2.35%, followed by Hengan International Group Company Ltd, which closed up 2.03% and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, which ended 1.68% firmer. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd, which closed 4.91% lower, Shenzhou International Group Holdings Ltd, which fell 2.48% and Tencent Holdings Ltd, which closed 2.21% weaker. ** About 1.46 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 87.7% of the market’s 30-day moving average of 1.67 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 2.21 billion. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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