March 26, 2020 / 9:00 AM / 9 days ago

Hong Kong shares end two-day surge as U.S. jobless claims loom

* Hang Seng index ends down 0.74%

* China Enterprises index HSCE falls 0.86%

* HSI financial sector sub-index is 0.9% lower; property sector down 1.1%

March 26 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares fell on Thursday after two days of strong gains as expectations of a jump in U.S. jobless claims offset some short-lived strength stemming from the passage of a massive stimulus bill by the U.S. Senate.

** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was down 174.85 points or 0.74% at 23,352.34 after gaining more than 8% over the previous two days. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 0.86% to 9,447.56. ** The Hang Seng briefly erased losses after the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a $2-trillion bill aimed at helping unemployed workers and industries hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. ** But global investors remain worried ahead of a weekly report from the U.S. Labor Department, which is expected to show a record number of jobless claims, highlighting the coronavirus’ impact on the U.S. economy. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 0.9%, while the IT sector rose 0.24%, the financial sector ended 0.88% lower and the property sector dipped 1.11%. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.6% at 2,764.91 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 0.66%. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.76%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 4.51%. ** The yuan was quoted at 7.0861 per U.S. dollar at 08:20 GMT, 0.33% firmer than the previous close of 7.1095. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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