March 28, 2018 / 8:50 AM / in a year

Hong Kong shares, joining global retreat, close at 3-week lows

* HSI -2.5 pct, HSCE -2.4 pct, CSI300 -1.8 pct

* Tech sectors slump nearly 5 pct, tracking Wall Street

* Fears of a Sino-U.S. trade war resurface

March 28 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks fell to their lowest closing level in three weeks on Wednesday following sharp falls on Wall Street overnight, and amid renewed fears of a Sino-U.S. trade war.

The Hang Seng index fell 2.5 percent to 30,022.53, the lowest closing level since March 5. The China Enterprises Index lost 2.4 percent at 12,001.16.

Technology shares led the declines with a 5 percent tumble, after concerns over tighter regulatory controls knocked down the tech sector on Wall Street.

Another factor souring the mood for investors was a resurfacing of worries about a confrontation between the United States and China.

China’s state-run Global Times reported that the country will soon announce a list of retaliatory tariffs on United States’ exports to China.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed “joining forces to counter China’s economic practices and alleged intellectual property theft, the White House said.

On top of lingering fears about trade friction, Hong Kong stocks are also vulnerable to further increases in money market rates in te city, brokerage First Shanghai Group said on Wednesday.

“The market remains volatile, and stability is not in sight,” the brokerage wrote.

“In the short- to mid-term, Hong Kong stocks are still in a downward trend ... and it’s not time to be greedy.”

Stocks fell across the board.

Sectors including properties, commodities, and finance all dropped more than 2 percent. Defensive stocks such as utilities outperformed the market.

Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Richard Borsuk

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