November 13, 2019 / 8:45 AM / a month ago

Hong Kong shares drop nearly 2% on widening protests, trade talk uncertainty

SHANGHAI, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks dropped nearly 2% on Wednesday, led by declines in property shares, as protests spread across the city. Risk appetite was also curbed by fears that U.S.-China trade talks are not making progress.

** The Hang Seng index fell 1.8% to end at 26,571.46, while the China Enterprises Index lost 1.6% to 10,519.12 points. The property sector tumbled 2.5%.

** Anti-government protesters paralysed parts of the Asian financial hub for a third day, after the city’s embattled leader, Carrie Lam, said protesters trying to paralyse the city were being “extremely selfish”. ** Chinese state media condemned the violence, with the China Daily newspaper stating that young protesters were revelling in a “hormone-fuelled ‘rebellion’”.

** The market is also clouded by uncertainty around the Sino-U.S. trade talks. U.S. President Donald Trump said a trade deal was “close” but gave no new details on when or where an agreement would be signed, disappointing investors in what was billed as a major speech on his administration’s economic policies.

** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 1.9%, while the IT sector dipped 0.82%, the financial sector ended 1.88% lower and the property sector dipped 2.52%. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Sino Biopharmaceutical Ltd, which gained 0.89%, while the biggest loser was New World Development Co Ltd, which fell 4.91%. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.33% at 2,905.24 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 0.09%. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 1.06%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.85%. ** The yuan was quoted at 7.016 per U.S. dollar at 0828 GMT, 0.12% weaker than the previous close of 7.0073. ** The top gainers among H-shares were China Resources Beer Holdings Co Ltd up 1.37%, followed by China Gas Holdings Ltd, gaining 0.87% and Guangdong Investment Ltd, up by %. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, which was down 3.82%, China Railway Group Ltd, which fell 2.92% and China Pacific Insurance Group Co Ltd, down by 2.81%. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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