January 7, 2020 / 8:48 AM / 17 days ago

Hong Kong shares end higher as Middle East worries ease

* Hang Seng index ends up 0.34%

* China Enterprises index HSCE rises 0.3%

* Tech sector adds 1.38%, energy shares slip

Jan 7 (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s main Hang Seng index finished firmer on Tuesday, lifted by tech firms as global investors took a breather from concerns over Middle East tensions, with new data pointing towards a stabilising global economy.

** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 95.87 points or 0.34% at 28,322.06. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.3% to 11,198.75. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 0.6%, reflecting a drop in oil prices after analysts tempered expectations of a widespread conflict in the Middle East. Brent crude futures fell 0.73% on Tuesday to $68.41 per barrel. ** The IT sector rose 1.38%, tracking gains in tech firms on Wall Street overnight, while the financial sector ended 0.14% higher. The property sector was little changed. ** Surveys of service sectors on Monday showed an improvement in the United States, UK and EU. The data “serve as a reminder that the global economy appears to be stabilising as we start 2020,” analysts at National Australia Bank said in a note. ** Tencent Holdings Ltd, which gained 2.17%, was the top gainer on the Hang Seng, while the biggest loser was PetroChina Co Ltd, down 1.67%. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.69% at 3,104.80 points, an eight-month closing high, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 0.75% at its highest finish since Feb. 2018.

** Chinese equities have rallied on a combination of optimism over a Phase 1 trade deal to end the U.S.-China trade war and expectations of policy support for the economy. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.61%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 1.6%. ** The yuan strengthened to its strongest domestic session close since Aug. 1, firming more than 0.5% to 6.9376 per dollar. ** The top gainers among H-shares were ANTA Sports Products Ltd up 5.32%, followed by Longfor Group Holdings Ltd , gaining 2.77% and Tencent Holdings Ltd, up by 2.17%. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were PetroChina Co Ltd, which was down 1.67%, Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd, which fell 1.38% and PICC Property and Casualty Co Ltd, down by 1.15%. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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