May 12, 2020 / 8:46 AM / 16 days ago

HK shares decline on growing concerns over second coronavirus wave

* Hang Seng index -1.45%, HSCE -1.59%

* Wuhan reports 5 new cases, first coronavirus cluster since lockdown lifted

* Wuhan plans to conduct city-wide testing over a period of 10 days

BEIJING, May 12 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares ended lower on Tuesday due to growing worries about a second wave of COVID-19 infections, after the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the pandemic originated, reported more new cases since its lockdown was lifted. ** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was down 356.38, or 1.45%, at 24,245.68. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 1.59% to 9,832.1. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 2.4%, while the IT sector rose 0.02%, the financial sector ended 1.21% lower and the property sector dipped 2.48%. ** The central Chinese city of Wuhan reported five new cases on Monday, casting doubts over efforts to lower coronavirus-related restrictions across the country as businesses restart and individuals went back to work.

** China’s health authority said on Tuesday that the reappearance of local clusters of coronavirus cases in recent days suggests that counter-epidemic measures cannot be relaxed yet. ** Wuhan plans to conduct city-wide nucleic acid testing over a period of 10 days, an internal document seen by Reuters showed and two sources familiar with the situation said, with every district told to submit a detailed testing plan by Tuesday. ** China’s factory prices fell at the sharpest rate in four years in April, highlighting weakening industrial demand in the world’s second-largest economy as the coronavirus pandemic slams global growth.

** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.11% at 2,891.56 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended flat. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.91%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.12%. ** The yuan was quoted at 7.089 per U.S. dollar at 0815 GMT, 0.14% firmer than the previous close of 7.0988.

Reporting by Cheng Leng in Beijing and Andrew Galbraith in Shanghai; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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