June 19, 2018 / 8:30 AM / 3 months ago

HK stocks hit over 4-month low as Sino-U.S. trade spat escalates

* Hang Seng index ends down 2.8 pct

* China Enterprises index HSCE falls 3.2 pct

* HSI financial sector sub-index is 2.8 pct lower; property sector down 2 pct

June 19 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks closed at their lowest in more than four months, tracking other Asian markets roiled by escalating China-U.S. trade frictions. ** The Hang Seng index closed down 2.8 percent at 29,468.15, its lowest since early February, while the China Enterprises Index lost 3.2 percent to 11,492.77, its lowest in six months. ** U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods, prompting a swift warning from Beijing of retaliation, as the trade conflict between the world’s two biggest economies quickly escalated. ** It was retaliation, he said, for China’s decision to raise tariffs on $50 billion in U.S. goods, which came after Trump announced similar tariffs on Chinese goods on Friday. ** China warned it will take “qualitative” and “quantitative” measures if the U.S. government publishes an additional list of tariffs on Chinese products. ** The trade frictions have unnerved financial markets, with investors and businesses increasingly worried that a full-blown trade battle could derail global growth. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 1.89 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 1.77 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.4654 per U.S. dollar at 08:11 GMT, 0.44 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.437. ** As of the previous trading session, the Hang Seng index was up 1.3 percent this year, while China’s H-share index was up 1.4 percent. As of the previous close, the Hang Seng has declined 0.52 percent this month. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Haitong Securities Co Ltd which was down 6.45 percent, China Galaxy Securities Co Ltd which fell 5.6 percent and People’s Insurance Group of China Co Ltd down by 5.5 percent. ** About 3.67 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 207.4 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 1.77 billion shares. The market was closed for a holiday on Monday. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 21.93 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Hang Seng index was 11.91 as of the last full trading day while the dividend yield was 3.1 percent. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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