February 12, 2019 / 8:36 AM / 2 months ago

Hong Kong stocks inch up, consumer shares extend rise

* Hang Seng index ends up 0.1 pct

* China Enterprises index HSCE rises 0.25 pct

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

SHANGHAI, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks edged up on Tuesday as consumer shares outperformed amid expectations Beijing would roll out more measures to spur consumption to cushion growth.

** The Hang Seng index rose 0.1 percent to 28,171.33, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.3 percent to 11,044.65.

** The Hang Seng consumer goods index climbed 1.9 percent to a two-month high, having gained 12.4 percent this year, as investors expected more efforts to boost the country’s consumption amid an economic slowdown.

** Consumption growth in China is “very likely” to slow further this year as the economy cools, the commerce ministry said on Tuesday, underlining the rising risks facing the Asian giant as it navigates a trade war with the United States.

** Chinese authorities have already rolled out a flurry of support measures to temper the effects of the trade dispute on businesses and investment, and are counting on the nation’s vast consumer base to cushion a broader economic slowdown.

** U.S. and Chinese officials expressed hopes the new round of talks, which began in Beijing on Monday, would bring them closer to easing their months-long trade war.

** Both sides are trying to hammer out a deal before a March 1 deadline, without which U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25 percent from 10 percent.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.31 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 2.61 percent.

** The yuan was quoted at 6.7763 per U.S. dollar at 08:11 GMT, 0.23 percent firmer than the previous close.

** The top gainers among H-shares were CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd up 5.76 percent, followed by Postal Savings Bank of China Co Ltd, gaining 4.57 percent and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, up by 4.25 percent.

** The three top H-shares percentage decliners were China Merchants Bank Co Ltd, which was down 2.47 percent, China Vanke Co Ltd, which fell 1.8 percent and Bank of Communications Co Ltd, down by 1.2 percent.

** About 1.54 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 101.8 percent of the market’s 30-day daily moving average of 1.51 billion. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.43 billion.

** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 17.69 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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