March 19, 2018 / 8:37 AM / 4 months ago

Hong Kong stocks flat as investors await Fed meeting, digest China appointments

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 3.7 pct, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 3.1 pct

* HSI flat, HSCE -0.1 pct, CSI300 +0.4 pct HSI financial sector sub-index is flat; property sector down 0.7 percent

March 19 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks were barely changed on Monday as investors await Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s first press conference on Wednesday amid expectations of a faster pace of U.S. rate hike.

** Investors also digest the slew of new appointments by Beijing, as China forms its new economic team under the new five-year term of President Xi Jinping. ** The Hang Seng index was largely unchanged at 31,513.76, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.1 percent to 12,660.46. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 0.3 percent while the IT sector dipped 0.61 percent, the financial sector was 0.28 percent higher and property sector dipped 0.66 percent. ** The top gainer on Hang Seng was Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd, up 2.34 percent, while the biggest loser was China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd which was down 2.99 percent. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index was up 0.3 percent at 3,279.25, while the blue-chip CSI300 index gained 0.4 percent to 4,074.25. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.45 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.9 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.3325 per U.S. dollar at 08:18 GMT, 0.06 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.329. ** As of the previous trading session, the Hang Seng index was up 5.29 percent this year, while China’s H-share index was up 8.2 percent. As of the previous close, the Hang Seng has risen 2.13 percent this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd up 2.34 percent, followed by China Merchants Bank Co Ltd gaining 1.48 percent and CNOOC Ltd up by 1.25 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Air China Ltd which was down 4.94 percent, China Vanke Co Ltd which fell 3.3 percent and China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd down by 3.0 percent. ** About 1.49 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 60.7 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 2.45 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 2.42 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 24.76 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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