September 4, 2018 / 8:38 AM / 10 months ago

HK stocks end higher as telecom shares jump on merger speculations

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 2 pct, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 1.4 pct

* HSI +0.9 pct, HSCE +0.7 pct, CSI300 +1.3 pct

* China Unicom, China Telecom surge on merger speculation

Sept 4 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks ended higher on Tuesday, with sentiment buoyed by a surge in Chinese telecom giants China Unicom and China Telecom on merger speculation.

** The Hang Seng index ended 0.9 percent higher at 27,973.34, while the China Enterprises Index closed up 0.7 percent at 10,890.63 points.

** China Unicom surged roughly 6 percent and China Telecom jumped about 4 percent, on media reports that Beijing is reviewing the possibility of merging the companies to accelerate the development of 5G.

** However, market gains are capped by lingering worries about the trade tariff war. U.S. President Donald Trump is prepared to quickly ramp up a trade war with China and has told aides he is ready to impose tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese imports as soon as a public comment period on the plan ends this week. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares ended 0.8 percent higher, while the IT sector closed up 1.78 percent, the financial sector ended 0.58 percent higher and property sector closed 1.03 percent firmer. ** The top gainer on Hang Seng was China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd , which ended up 5.86 percent, while the biggest loser was China Merchants Port Holdings Co Ltd, which closed down 0.90 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index ended 0.03 percent lower, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed 0.05 percent weaker. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.8313 per U.S. dollar at 0823 GMT, 0.11 percent weaker than previous close of 6.8235. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 18.86 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Hang Seng index was 10.48 as of the last full trading day, while the dividend yield was 3.5 percent. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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