August 29, 2019 / 8:48 AM / 24 days ago

Hong Kong stocks end firmer after China signals trade talks

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 1.1%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 4.7%

* HSI +0.3%, HSCE +0.1%, CSI300 -0.3%

* FTSE China A50 -0.5%

Aug 29 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks reversed course to end higher on Thursday on fresh comments from China that Beijing and Washington were in discussions and would try to resolve the year-long trade dispute between both economies.

** The Hang Seng index ended up 0.3% at 25,703.50, while the China Enterprises Index closed 0.1% higher at 9,992.64. ** Following a lacklustre start to the session, investor sentiment was lifted after China’s commerce ministry said they were in discussions with the United States. ** Both sides “should create conditions” for progress in negotiations scheduled next month, Gao Feng, the ministry’s spokesman told reporters during a weekly briefing, adding that China was against escalating the trade war with the United States and was willing to resolve the issue calmly. ** In the latest tit-for-tat escalation of the trade war between the world’s two largest economies, U.S. President Donald Trump last Friday heaped an additional duty of 5% on about $550 billion in targeted Chinese goods. ** Meanwhile, China rotated troops in its People’s Liberation Army garrison in Hong Kong on Thursday, days before protesters planned to hold a march calling for full democracy for the Chinese-ruled city after three months of sometimes violent demonstrations. ** Chinese state media described the troop movement in the early hours as routine and said that Asian and Western diplomats watching PLA movements in the former British colony had been expecting it. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.11%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.09%. ** The yuan was quoted at 7.1525 per U.S. dollar at 0814 GMT, 0.17% firmer than the previous close of 7.1645. ** The top gainers among H-shares were China Cinda Asset Management Co Ltd, which ended up 6.67%, followed by China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd, which closed 5.41% firmer and CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd, which ended 4.52% higher. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were New China Life Insurance Co Ltd, which ended down 6.11%, Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd, which closed 2.59% lower and Huatai Securities Co Ltd, which ended down by 2.09%. ** About 1.78 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 106.1% of the market’s 30-day moving average of 1.68 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.46 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 29.29% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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