October 3, 2019 / 5:14 AM / 17 days ago

Hong Kong shares skid as U.S. slaps tariffs on Europe imports

* HSI -0.5%, HSCE -0.3%; Mainland China closed for holiday

* U.S. opens new trade war front with $7.5 bln tariffs on EU

* Hong Kong protesters go on rampage as tensions continue

HONG KONG, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks fell on Thursday, after the United States said it would slap tariffs on $7.5 billion of European Union goods, dampening sentiment across global markets.

** At midday, the Hang Seng index was down 0.5% at 25,918.51. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 0.3%. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 0.8%, the IT sector lost 0.1%, the financial sector fell 0.8% and the property sector was down 0.7%. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd, which climbed 2.4%, while the biggest loser was CK Asset Holdings Ltd, which fell 1.9%. ** The United States on Wednesday said it would enact 10% tariffs on European-made Airbus planes and 25% duties on French wine, Scotch and Irish whiskies and cheese from across the continent as punishment for illegal EU aircraft subsidies. ** The United States and China have already hiked tariffs on each other’s goods in a year-long trade row that has raised the risk of recession and caused major central banks to ease monetary policy. ** Wall Street slumped overnight and in Asia on Thursday, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.7%, while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 2.1%. ** In Hong Kong, anti-government demonstrators clashed with police into the early hours of Thursday, venting their anger over a policeman’s shooting and wounding of a teenager earlier in the week, as months of protests show no sign of letting up. ** The government said on Wednesday Hong Kong’s August retail sales were the worst on record. Retail sales fell 23% from a year earlier, worse than a 21.48% fall in September 1998, according to Refinitiv data. ** 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 0.48% on the day at 5,155.63. (Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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