September 14, 2018 / 8:52 AM / 2 months ago

Hong Kong stocks extend gains on prospects of fresh Sino-U.S. trade talks

Sept 14 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks climbed for a second straight session on Friday, as the prospects of a new round of trade talks between China and the United States eased fears of a rapid escalation in tensions between the world’s two largest economies. ** The Hang Seng index rose 1.0 percent, to 27,286.41, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.7 percent, to 10,575.17 points.

** But gains were curbed by lingering worries over China’s economy, and uncertainty over the outcome of Sino-U.S. trade talks.

** China’s growth looks set to cool further in coming months, with a barrage of August economic data doing little to dispel views that domestic demand is softening and government support measures will take some time to kick in.

** China will not buckle to U.S. demands in any trade negotiations, the major state-run China Daily newspaper said in an editorial on Friday, after Chinese officials welcomed an invitation from Washington for a new round of talks.

** “Once again, markets need to separate trade rhetoric and trade actions. While heated rhetoric may contribute to the shifting investor expectations we have seen this week, there has been no fundamental change in the state of the U.S.-China trade dispute,” said Hannah Anderson, global market strategist, J.P. Morgan Asset Management. She expects the U.S. Commerce Department to announce its determination on tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports soon.

** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 0.5 percent, while the IT sector rose 1.9 percent, the financial sector was 0.76 percent higher and the property sector climbed 1.59 percent. ** The top gainer on Hang Seng was AAC Technologies Holdings Inc , up 5.51 percent, while the biggest loser was China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, which was down 1.82 percent.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 1.24 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 1.2 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.851 per U.S. dollar at 08:32 GMT, 0.22 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.8363. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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