* HSI down 1.38 pct, with HSCE losing 1.5 pct IT sub-index dropped as much as 3 pct
* Stocks led lower by mainland market, trade war worries
By Noah Sin
HONG KONG Oct 15 - The Hong Kong stock market closed lower on Monday, weighed down by the falling mainland market and concerns over the US-China trade conflict continued to limit investors’ appetite. ** The Hang Seng index was down 1.38 percent at 25,445.06. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 1.5 percent to 10,144.34. ** Hong Kong stocks were led lower by the China markets, which also closed down on Monday, ending a short-lived rebound on Friday.
** A reversal in the two markets is unlikely until the participants see more positive developments in the ongoing US-China trade dispute, especially now that the Chinese currency appears to be centre-stage in that tug of war. ** “We heard there will be talks between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump, then we did not have an update from that. I think people will be very careful, at least until we know if the US will call China a currency manipulator,” said a Hong Kong-based head of sales at a brokerage.
** With the trade war theme still looming large, IT stocks underperformed. The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking the IT sector dipped as much as 3 percent, before closing at 2.5 percent.
** The biggest loser on the Hang Seng was AAC Technologies Holdings Inc, down 7.85 percent. The share price of the company, an iPhone products supplier, hit a 22-month low.
** The top gainer on Hang Seng was Sino Biopharmaceutical Ltd , up 3.38 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 1 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 1.87 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Guangdong Investment Ltd, down 5.45 percent, China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd, which fell 4.14 percent and Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd, down 3.76 percent.
** The top gainers among H-shares were ZhongAn Online P & C Insurance Co Ltd up 2.19 percent, followed by People’s Insurance Group of China Co Ltd, gaining 1.43 percent and PetroChina Co Ltd, up 0.67 percent.
Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by Richard Borsuk