December 2, 2019 / 8:53 AM / 14 days ago

HK stocks end firmer as China data lifts risk appetite

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 4.1%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 4.1%

* HSI +0.4%, HSCE +0.6%, CSI300 +0.2%

* FTSE China A50 +0.2%

Dec 2 (Reuters) - Stocks in Hong Kong ended higher on Monday, boosted by upbeat factory data on the mainland, while cloudy outlook over a Sino-U.S. interim trade deal and pro-democracy protests in the Asian financial hub kept gains in check.

** The Hang Seng index ended 0.4% firmer at 26,444.72, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.6% to 10,363.91.

** Sentiment got a lift after official data showed factory activity in China unexpectedly returned to growth in November for the first time in seven months, as domestic demand picked up on Beijing’s accelerated stimulus measures to steady growth.

** The market also enjoyed a boost after the Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) index rose to 51.8 in November from 51.7 in the previous month, marking the fastest expansion since December 2016.

** However, worries persisted over the prospects of a proposed Sino-U.S. trade deal, as tensions between the world’s two largest economies escalated after Washington signed a legislation backing Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters.

** Beijing’s top priority in any “phase one” trade deal is the removal of existing tariffs on Chinese goods, China’s Global Times newspaper reported on Sunday.

** However, a trade deal was now “stalled because of Hong Kong legislation”, news website Axioms reported on Sunday, citing a source close to U.S. President Donald Trump’s negotiating team.

** China’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday it has suspended the review of requests by U.S. military ships and aircraft to visit Hong Kong in response to legislation passed by U.S. lawmakers in support of protesters in the China-ruled territory.

** Hundreds of office workers in Hong Kong’s business district gathered on Monday for the first in a week of lunchtime protests backing the movement after its resounding victory in district polls held last week in the Chinese-ruled city.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.19%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 1.01%.

** The yuan was quoted at 7.041 per U.S. dollar at 0811 GMT, 0.13% weaker than the previous close of 7.032.

** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 28.78% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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