September 10, 2018 / 8:45 AM / 3 months ago

Hong Kong shares end lower as investors brace for trade war escalation

* Hang Seng index ends down 1.33 pct

* China Enterprises index falls 1.19 percent

* HSI financial sector sub-index ends 1.7 percent lower; property sector down 1.2 percent

Sept 10 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares hit near-14-month lows on Monday to end lower for the day, tracking a regional slump as investors braced for the ratcheting up of a trade war between the United States and China.

** The Hang Seng index ended down 1.3 percent to 26,613.42, while the China Enterprises Index lost 1.2 percent, to 10,433.62 points. The Hang Seng had earlier fallen as low as 26,453.29, its lowest level since July 18, 2017. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares ended 0.6 percent lower, while the IT sector dipped 1.5 percent, the financial sector was 1.67 percent lower and the property sector ended down 1.24 percent. ** U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Friday he was ready to slap tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports into the United States, threatening duties on another $267 billion of goods on top of $200 billion in imports primed for levies in coming days. ** China has vowed to respond if the U.S. takes any new steps on trade, the country’s foreign ministry said on Monday. ** The top gainer in the Hang Seng was Wharf Real Estate Investment Company Ltd, up 2 percent, while the biggest decliner was Apple Inc supplier Sunny Optical Technology Group Co Ltd, which dropped 4.28 percent. ** Shares in China-based Apple concept firms fell after Trump tweeted on Saturday that Apple should make products in the United States if it wanted to avoid tariffs on Chinese imports. ** China’s producer inflation cooled in August amid softening domestic demand, pointing to a steady slowing in growth in the world’s second biggest economy as it confronts heightened risks to the outlook from a heated trade dispute with the United States. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed down 1.21 percent at 2,702.30 points, while its blue-chip CSI300 index ended 1.45 percent lower. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.91 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index ended 0.3 percent higher. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.8652 per dollar at 0830 GMT, 0.23 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.8492. ** As of the previous trading session, the Hang Seng index was down 9.85 percent this year, while China’s H-share index had fallen 9.8 percent. As of the previous close, the Hang Seng has declined 3.28 percent this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Guangdong Investment Ltd , which rose 1.62 percent, followed by China Railway Group Ltd, which gained 1.35 percent and Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd, up by 1.15 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd, which was down 7 percent, ZhongAn Online P & C Insurance Co Ltd, which fell 6.5 percent and China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd, down by 5.3 percent. ** About 2.11 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 123.6 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 1.71 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 2.95 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 20.20 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 higher by 1.3 percent on the day at 5,271.19 points. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)

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