July 15, 2020 / 8:44 AM / 22 days ago

Hong Kong stocks end flat as U.S. sanction woes weigh

SHANGHAI, July 15 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares ended flat on Wednesday, after U.S. president Donald Trump’s decisions to revoke city’s special status and his sign-off on a sanction bill to target officials related to the new security law. ** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 3.69 points, or 0.01%, at 25,481.58, reversing earlier losses recorded in the mid-day session. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 0.14% to 10,390.54. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 0.2%, while the IT sector rose 1.68%, the financial sector ended 0.44% lower and the property sector dipped 0.87%. ** U.S. president Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered an end to Hong Kong’s special status under U.S. law to punish China for what he called “oppressive actions” against the former British colony, and signed a bill approved by the U.S. Congress to penalize banks doing business with Chinese officials who implement the new security law. ** China said on Wednesday it would impose retaliatory sanctions on U.S. individuals and entities after Trump’s move. ** The sanction threats over Hong Kong would dent short-term sentiment and cast shadow on funding flows of the city, said Zhang Qi, analyst with Haitong Securities, adding that the latest bill reinforced the idea that frictions between China and U.S. has become normalized. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed down 1.56% at 3,361.30 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 1.29%. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.75%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 1.59%. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.9925 per U.S. dollar at 0814 GMT, 0.21% firmer than the previous close of 7.0075. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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