November 19, 2018 / 8:42 AM / a month ago

Hong Kong shares end higher on developer gains

* Hang Seng index ends up 0.72 pct

* China Enterprises index HSCE rises 0.45 pct

* HSI financial sector sub-index +0.3 pct; property index +2.3 pct

Nov 19 (Reuters) - Shares in Hong Kong ended higher on Monday as mainland developers rose amid speculation of policy loosening, but ongoing concerns over Sino-U.S. trade continue to cloud investor sentiment. ** At the close, the Hang Seng index was 0.7 percent higher at 26,372.00, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.5 percent to 10,631.66. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 1.1 percent, while the IT sector rose 0.66 percent and the financial sector ended 0.31 percent higher. ** China’s stubbornly weak credit growth has spurred talk of its first cut in benchmark lending rates in three years, but economists and policy insiders say concerns about a potential knock to its currency will likely give the central bank pause. ** That speculations lifted developers on hopes that a rate cut could lower borrowing costs for developers and home buyers. The Hang Seng’s property sub-index added 2.32 percent. ** But underscoring the rift between Beijing and Washington over trade and risks to economic growth, Asia-Pacific leaders failed to agree on a communique at a summit for the first time in their history as deep divisions between the United States and China over trade and investment stymied cooperation. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was AAC Technologies Holdings Inc, which gained 4.58 percent, while the biggest loser was China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd, which fell 2.40 percent. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite Index ended 0.9 percent higher at 2,703.51. The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 1.1 percent to 3,294.60. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.2 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.65 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.9433 per U.S. dollar at 08:23 GMT, 0.12 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.9351. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Byd Co Ltd up 6.27 percent, followed by China Vanke Co Ltd, gaining 5.65 percent and China Resources Land Ltd, up by 4.56 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were New China Life Insurance Co Ltd, which was down 2.28 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd, which fell 1.7 percent and Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd, down by 1.5 percent as worries over slowing growth and shrinking demand for cement hit producers. ** About 1.36 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 71.3 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 1.91 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.37 billion. ** At the close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 18.47 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The short and one-factor leveraged Hang Seng index, which is designed to replicate the payoff of a short or leveraged portfolio and is linked to the movements of the Hang Seng Index, was lower by 0.71 percent on the day at 5,264.57. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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