January 20, 2016 / 8:22 AM / 3 months ago

Hong Kong stocks end higher on China trade surprise, firmer yuan

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 2.3%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 3.8%

* HSI +0.5%, HSCE +0.5%, CSI300 +1.3%

* FTSE China A50 +1.5%

SHANGHAI, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks climbed on Thursday, tracking broader Asia, as China reported surprisingly strong trade numbers and capped the yuan’s fall, offering a brief respite from fears of a global currency war.

** The Hang Seng index rose 0.5%, to 26,120.77, while the China Enterprises index also gained 0.5%, to 10,041.62.

** China’s exports unexpectedly rose in July, growing 3.3% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Thursday, beating analysts’ estimate of a 2% fall.

** China’s central bank on Thursday set its official yuan midpoint below the key 7/dollar threshold for the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis.

** Still, the yuan fixing was stronger than markets had feared and supported Asian equities broadly. State banks were also seen supporting the currency earlier this week.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.74%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.37%.

** The yuan was quoted at 7.0443 per U.S. dollar at 08:14 GMT, 0.22% firmer than the previous close of 7.0596.

** The top gainers among H-shares were Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd up 7.05%, followed by Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, gaining 3.61% and Huatai Securities Co Ltd, up by 2.61%.

** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were New China Life Insurance Co Ltd, which was down 0.28%, CITIC Ltd, which fell 0.21% and Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd, down 0.2%.

** About 1.71 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 125.6% of the market’s 30-day moving average of 1.36 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.72 billion.

** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 29.65% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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