February 11, 2019 / 8:38 AM / 11 days ago

Hong Kong shares end higher on trade optimism, A-shares rally

* .HSI +0.7 pct, .HSCE +0.6 pct; A-shares up

* China, U.S. in fresh round of trade talks

* Retailers in China post strong holiday earnings

HONG KONG, Feb 11 (Reuters) - The Hong Kong stock market closed firmer on Monday, led by a rally in Mainland Chinese shares, as Beijing and Washington launched another round of bilateral trade talks. ** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 0.7 percent at 28,143.84 points, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises index gained 0.6 percent. ** The sub-indexes of the Hang Seng tracking financial sector and the property sector both ended 0.4 percent higher, while energy shares closed largely flat. ** A-shares rallied on Monday as investors remained optimistic ahead of the next round of Sino-U.S. trade negotiations. The market was closed last week for the Lunar New Year holiday. ** The talks, spearheaded on the U.S. side by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, will focus on issues such as intellectual property rights. ** Stocks also jumped after China’s retailer and catering enterprises reported strong earnings during the Lunar New Year holiday. ** Shares in Apple Inc’s suppliers in Greater China rallied, tracking a robust rebound in the iPhone maker, after the company reported sharp growth in its services business. ** The Hang Seng’s sub index for information technology stocks ended 2.4 percent higher, while the index for IT hardware makers closed up 1.5 percent. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Sunny Optical Technology Group Co Ltd, which ended up 7.6 percent, while the biggest loser was CK Infrastructure Holdings Ltd, which closed down 0.9 percent. ** MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.2 percent. ** The top gainers among H-shares were China Tower Corp Ltd , which ended up 3.1 percent, followed by China Gas Holdings Ltd and Great Wall Motor Co Ltd, both which closed 2 percent higher. ** About 1.43 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.57 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 17.19 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** 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 0.69 percent lower at 4,911.28 points. (Reporting by Noah Sin, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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