March 7, 2018 / 8:33 AM / in 3 months

HK stocks follow global markets lower amid renewed trade war fears

* China Enterprises index HSCE falls 1.1 percent

* HSI financial sector sub-index is 1.1 percent lower; property sector down 0.8 percent

March 7 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares followed world markets lower on Wednesday amid renewed fears of a global trade war following the resignation of Gary Cohn, a strong White House advocate for free trade.

** The Hang Seng index fell 1.0 percent to 30,196.92, while the China Enterprises Index lost 1.1 percent to 12,180.29.

** White House economic adviser Cohn, seen as a bulwark against protectionist forces within the Trump administration, said on Tuesday he was leaving, fanning fears that U.S. President Donald Trump will proceed with protectionist tariffs. ** “Global trade protectionism is on the rise, and the chance (of a trade war) is getting bigger,” said Hu Yifeng, CIO for Greater China at UBS Wealth Management. “If the U.S. pushes further (toward protectionism), China will have to meet the challenges.” ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 2.1 percent while the IT sector dipped 0.97 percent, the financial sector was 1.09 percent lower and property sector dipped 0.81 percent. ** The top gainer on Hang Seng was Hengan International Group Company Ltd up 1.32 percent, while the biggest loser was China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd which was down 3.92 percent. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index was down 0.5 percent at 3,271.67, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was 0.75 percent lower. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.59 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.77 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.3216 per U.S. dollar at 08:14 GMT, 0.18 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.31. ** The top gainers among H-shares were China Merchants Bank Co Ltd up 2.11 percent, followed by CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd up 1.49 percent and Hengan International Group Company Ltd up by 1.32 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Air China Ltd which was down 5.90 percent, China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd which fell 3.9 percent and China Vanke Co Ltd down by 3.3 percent. ** About 2.20 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 77.2 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 2.85 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 2.34 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 29.82 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Hang Seng index was 13.16 as of the last full trading day while the dividend yield was 2.8 percent. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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