November 15, 2018 / 8:41 AM / a month ago

Hong Kong shares end higher as China, U.S. resume trade talks

* Hang Seng index ends up 1.8 pct

* China Enterprises index HSCE rises 1.44 percent

* Financial sector sub-index ends 1.1 pct higher; property sector closes 2.1 pct firmer

Nov 15 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares ended firmer, after posting their strongest daily gains in nearly two weeks on Thursday, lifted by hopes that discussions between China and the United States could lead to a trade war detente and as strong earnings from Tencent boosted tech firms.

** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 1.8 percent at 26,103.34 points, its strongest daily gain since Nov. 2. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index closed 1.44 percent higher at 10,405.16. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares closed 1.1 percent higher as oil prices stopped their slide. The financial sector ended 1.11 percent higher and the property sector closed 2.05 percent firmer. ** China and the United States have resumed high-level talks on trade, the Chinese commerce ministry’s spokesman Gao Feng said on Thursday, without giving details. Earlier, China delivered a written response to U.S. demands for wide-ranging trade reforms, raising hopes for new talks. ** Index heavyweight Tencent Holdings Ltd gained 5.8 percent after posting stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings. A sub-index tracking the IT sector rose 4.26 percent. ** Despite the encouraging trade news, a Reuters analysis of the earnings of 1,950 firms listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen showed that they managed a combined net profit rise of just 3.9 percent in the third quarter, compared with jumps of 20-55 percent seen in each quarter for the past two years in a warning sign for economic growth. ** China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite index ended 1.4 percent higher at 2,668.17 points. The blue-chip CSI300 index closed up 1.2 percent at 3,242.37. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 1.3 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.2 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.9353 per U.S. dollar at 0820 GMT, 0.21 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.95. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Tencent Holdings Ltd , which closed up 5.8 percent, followed by CITIC Securities Co Ltd, which ended 5.07 percent higher and China Telecom Corp Ltd, which closed 3.75 percent firmer. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd, which ended down 1.47 percent, Air China Ltd, which closed down 1.2 percent and China Gas Holdings Ltd, which ended down 1 percent. ** About 1.58 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 81.9 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 1.93 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.48 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 17.77 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Hang Seng index was 9.99 as of the last full trading day while the dividend yield was 3.7 percent. ** So far this week, the market capitalisation of the Hang Seng index has risen by 0.07 percent to HK$16.56 trillion. ** The short and one-factor leveraged Hang Seng index, which is designed to replicate the payoff of a short or leveraged portfolio and is linked to the movements of the Hang Seng Index, was lower by 1.75 percent on the day at 5,318.68 points.

Reporting by Andrew Galbraith, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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