March 13, 2018 / 8:34 AM / in 10 months

Hong Kong stocks end flat; financials gain on mainland regulatory revamp

* Hang Seng index ends flat

* China Enterprises index HSCE rises 0.4 percent

* HSI financial sector sub-index is flat; property sector down 0.2 percent

SHANGHAI, March 13 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares ended flat on Tuesday as investors pondered over the impact of a government reshuffle on the mainland. ** Market participants also awaited the U.S. inflation data later in the day which could offer clues on the pace of interest rate rises this year. ** China is merging its banking and insurance regulators and giving new powers to policymaking bodies such as the central bank in the biggest government shake-up in years. ** “The consolidation of the banking and insurance regulators would streamline and unify regulation, especially on shadow-banking activities, by reducing the room for regulatory arbitrage,” Moody’s wrote in a report. ** At close of trade, the Hang Seng index was flat at 31,601.45, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.4 percent to 12,746.78. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 1.1 percent while the IT sector rose 0.44 percent, the financial sector was 0.37 percent higher and property sector dipped 0.25 percent . ** The top gainer on Hang Seng was Hong Kong and China Gas Co Ltd up 1.79 percent, while the biggest loser was WH Group Ltd which was down 1.98 percent. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.46 percent at 3,326.6992 while its blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 0.85 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.22 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.66 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.3321 per U.S. dollar at 08:08 GMT, 0.06 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.328. ** As of the previous trading session, the Hang Seng index was up 5.6 percent this year, while China’s H-share index was up 8.4 percent. As of the previous close, the Hang Seng has risen 2.43 percent this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Agricultural Bank of China Ltd up 4.92 percent, followed by Guangdong Investment Ltd gaining 1.97 percent and Bank of China Ltd up by 1.61 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were New China Life Insurance Co Ltd which was down 2.03 percent, CNOOC Ltd which fell 1.9 percent and China Gas Holdings Ltd down by 1.7 percent. ** About 2.18 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 84 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 2.59 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 2.24 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 24.32 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Hang Seng index was 13.6 as of the last full trading day while the dividend yield was 2.7 percent. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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