November 12, 2019 / 8:36 AM / a month ago

Hong Kong shares firm before Trump speech; protests linger

* Hang Seng add 0.5%, H-shares up 0.7%

* Market watches for clues on tariffs as Trump speaks

* Tear gas fired as protests rage across city again

HONG KONG, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks rebounded on Tuesday from losses incurred by escalating protests in the previous session, as the market hoped for better news on trade from U.S. President Donald Trump.

** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 0.5% at 27,065.28 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.7%. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 0.2%, the IT sector gained 2.4%, and the financial sector ended 0.5% higher. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was CITIC Ltd, which gained 3.5%, while the biggest loser was Sino Biopharmaceutical Ltd, which fell 1.6%. ** The market dropped to the lowest since the start of November on Monday after a protester was shot by police and a man set on fire. While violence calmed slightly, the city remained on edge on Tuesday with rush hour transport disrupted and as police fired tear gas to disperse a flash mob. ** U.S. President Trump is scheduled to speak at the Economic Club of New York later in the day. The market will look for clues on the Sino-U.S. phase-one trade deal, after Trump shook markets by denying reports of Washington rolling back tariffs on Chinese goods over the weekend. ** New bank loans in China fell more than expected to their lowest in 22 months in October, though seasonal factors likely contributed to the steep drop and policymakers are still expected to ramp up support. ** Chinese regulators have been trying to boost bank lending and lower financing costs for over a year, but domestic demand remains sluggish as investment and consumption weakens, while escalating U.S.-China trade tensions weigh on exports. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.5%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.8%. ** About 1.15 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.92 billion. (Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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