September 3, 2018 / 8:35 AM / in 8 months

Tariff worries, weak China data pull Hong Kong shares lower

* Hang Seng index ends down 0.6 pct China Enterprises index HSCE falls 0.6 percent HSI financial sector sub-index flat; property sector down 0.9 percent

Sept 3 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares ended lower on Monday, tracking regional weakness as fears over further escalation of the U.S.-China trade war and signs of slowing manufacturing growth in China hit investor sentiment. ** The Hang Seng index closed 0.6 percent lower at 27,712.54, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.6 percent to 10,813.57 points. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares closed down 1.3 percent, while the IT sector closed 1.99 percent lower, the financial sector ended down 0.29 percent lower and property sector closed 0.87 percent weaker. ** The top gainer on Hang Seng was WH Group Ltd, which ended up 2.7 percent, while the biggest loser was Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, which closed down 4.44 percent. ** China’s manufacturing activity grew at the slowest pace in more than a year in August, with export orders shrinking for a fifth month and employers cutting more staff, a private survey showed on Monday. ** U.S. President Donald Trump said last week he was ready to impose tariffs on $200 billion more of Chinese imports as soon as a public comment period on the plan ends this week. ** Hong Kong-listed shares of COSCO Shipping Holdings Co Ltd fell 4.6 pct to their lowest close since Feb. 8, 2017, after Jefferies cut the company’s target price. ** Shares in Hong Kong’s Shun Tak Holdings Ltd fell as much as 6 pct to their lowest since June 6, 2017, after it posted weak first-half profit. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.17 percent at 2,725.25 points, while its blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 0.38 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.55 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.69 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.8207 per U.S. dollar at 0811 GMT, 0.15 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.831. ** As of previous trading session, the Hang Seng index was down 6.79 percent this year, while China’s H-share index lost 7.1 percent. As of previous close, the Hang Seng declined 2.43 percent this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares were China Telecom Corp Ltd , which closed up 1.36 percent, followed by Postal Savings Bank of China Co Ltd, which ended 1.3 percent higher and Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd, which closed 1.26 percent firmer. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Great Wall Motor Co Ltd, which closed down 6.63 percent, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, which ended 6.1 percent weaker and Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd, which closed down 4.6 percent. ** About 1.44 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 85.9 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 1.68 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.98 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 18.35 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The short and one-factor leveraged Hang Seng index, which is designed to replicate the payoff of a short or leveraged portfolio and is linked to the movements of the Hang Seng Index, was higher by 0.54 percent on the day at 5,074.55 points. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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