September 4, 2015 / 4:31 AM / 2 years ago

Hong Kong stocks fall on nervousness ahead of U.S. job data

Sept 4 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stock erased early gains and fell on Friday as investors liquidated their position ahead of the release of the U.S. monthly jobs report at a time when China market was closed for public holiday.

The blue chip Hang Seng Index fell 0.6 percent at 20,809.50 by lunch break, with financial stocks leading the slide. The Hang Seng Finance Index slid 1.03 percent.

The China Enterprises Index lost 2.4 percent to 9,077.54 points, heading for the lowest close since July 2013.

Nervousness ahead of the U.S. Labor Department’s monthly jobs report on Friday and what it may mean for the Federal Reserve’s interest rate outlook caused stock investors to square positions.

“The market was quiet but cautious and investors were concern about the prospect of a U.S. interest rate hike,” said Steven Leung, a director at UOB Kay Hian in Hong Kong. “Players were unwilling to take risk with so many uncertainties around.”

Among the blue chips, PetroChina topped the biggest losers in percentage terms.It was followed by China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, which fell 3.8 percent. China Life Insurance and Ping An Insurance were down 3.7 percent.

China market, which closed for public holiday on Friday, will resume normal on Monday. (Reporting Donny Kwok; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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