September 13, 2019 / 4:45 AM / 6 days ago

Hong Kong shares gain as trade thaw stokes risk appetite

* Hang Seng adds 0.4%, H-shares 0.5% higher; both up for the week

* Trump conssidering full trade deal with Beijing

* Mainland China’s markets closed for holiday; re-opens Monday

HONG KONG, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks rose on Friday, on track for their second straight weekly gain, as investors cheered signs of a breakthrough in the year-long Sino-U.S. tariff war.

** At midday, the Hang Seng index was up 0.4% at 27,186.35 points, gaining 1.9% so far this week. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index climbed 0.5%, poised to close the week up 2.1%. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares slid 0.1%, the IT sector rose 0.3%, the financial sector gained 0.5% and the property sector climbed 0.3%. ** The top gainer in the Hang Seng was Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, which gained 2.8%, while the biggest loser was Sino Land Co Ltd, which dropped 1.8%. ** U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he preferred a comprehensive trade deal with China, but did not rule out the possibility of an interim pact, even as he said an “easy” agreement would not be possible. ** Lower-level U.S. and Chinese officials are expected to meet next week in Washington ahead of talks between senior trade negotiators in early October. Top-level negotiators last met face-to-face in China in July. ** The two sides have been making conciliatory gestures this week. China renewed purchases of U.S. farm goods and Trump delayed a tariff increase on certain Chinese goods by two weeks. ** In Hong Kong, embattled leader Carrie Lam has promised to prioritise housing and people’s livelihoods to appease deep rooted discontent about the way the Asian financial hub has been governed, as protesters gear up for fresh demonstrations. ** Reuters reported on Friday that Beijing has called on its biggest state firms to step up investment and asserting more control of companies in the financial hub, in an attempt to calm months of unrest in the city. ** Financial markets in Mainland China were closed on Friday for the Mid-Autumn Festival public holiday and will resume trade on Monday, Sept. 16. ** MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by almost 0.4%.

Reporting by Noah Sin, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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