November 7, 2018 / 8:41 AM / 9 days ago

Hong Kong stocks close largely flat after Democrats win U.S. House

Nov 7 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks ended roughly flat in choppy trade on Wednesday, after Democrats won control of the U.S. House of Representatives, boosting the party’s ability to block President Donald Trump’s political and economic agenda.

** The Democrats’ House win creates a hurdle for Republicans to easily pass legislation through both chambers of Congress, clouding the outlook for some of Trump’s key economic proposals.

** “A divided government is nothing new in the U.S. experience ... This, however, will be an extremely divided government over the next two years,” wrote Vincent Reinhart, Chief Economist at Standish, part of BNY Mellon Investment Management. “This election result creates a headwind for economic activity.”

** The Hang Seng index ended largely flat at 26,147.69, while the China Enterprises Index closed 0.1 percent higher at 10,641.48 points.

** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares ended 0.2 percent higher, while the IT sector closed up 0.29 percent, the financial sector ended 0.32 percent higher and property sector closed 0.36 percent firmer. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Hang Lung Properties Ltd , which ended up 2.32 percent, while the biggest loser was Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, which closed down 4.94 percent.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.39 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.28 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.9262 per U.S. dollar at 0825 GMT, 0.12 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.9177. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, which ended 3.41 percent higher, followed by ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co Ltd, which closed up 2.95 percent and Shenzhou International Group Holdings Ltd, which ended 2 percent firmer. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Great Wall Motor Co Ltd, which closed down 3.87 percent, China Galaxy Securities Co Ltd, which ended 3.3 percent lower and CITIC Securities Co Ltd, which closed down 1.7 percent. ** About 1.78 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 93.5 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 1.61 billion shares.

Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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