February 17, 2017 / 8:17 AM / a year ago

Hong Kong stocks ease as investors book profits

Feb 17 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks fell on Friday, as capital inflows from the mainland took a breather and investors locked in profits after the main index closed at an 18-month high the previous session.

The benchmark Hang Seng index dropped 0.3 percent, to 24,033.74 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 0.9 percent, to 10,360.13 points.

For the week, the main index gained 1.9 percent, with market turnover rising to the highest since the week ending Aug. 28, 2015.

Southbound inflows through the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect dropped sharply on Friday, using 2.2 percent of the daily quota, compared with an average of 24 percent in the past five sessions.

Analysts said Chinese investors’ interest in Hong Kong stocks was improving due to their lower valuations versus mainland peers and as Beijing clamped down on speculative trading to control asset price bubbles on the mainland.

Sectors lost ground across the board, with telecommunication and industrial stocks leading the declines. (Reporting by Jackie Cai and John Ruwitch; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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