March 14 (Reuters) – Hong Kong stocks fell on Wednesday, breaking a four-day rising streak, as fears of a Sino-U.S. trade war outweighed optimism from China’s solid economic data.
** The Hang Seng index fell 0.5 percent to 31,435.01, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.5 percent to 12,684.52 points.
** U.S. President Donald Trump is seeking to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports in the very near future and will target the technology and telecommunications sectors, Reuters reported on Tuesday. Also fuelling fears of a trade war, Trump has fired his Secretary of State, regarded as a moderate in his administration.
** Investors shrugged off stronger-than-expected data from China which showed the country’s industrial output expanded at a surprisingly faster pace at the start of the year. Fixed asset investment also handily beat forecasts, while retail sales improved from December.
** Larry Hu, analyst at Macquarie Capital Ltd, forecast that China’s growth in March will slow. “As domestic demand is clearly softening, we expect Jan-Feb growth to be the peak for the year,” he wrote. **The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 0.3 percent, while the IT sector rose 0.01 percent, the financial sector was 0.93 percent lower and property sector rose 0.17 percent. ** The top gainer on Hang Seng was Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd up 1.6 percent, while the biggest loser was AAC Technologies Holdings Inc which was down 2.81 percent. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.57 percent at 3,310.2389 points, while its blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 0.44 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.41 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.87 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.3156 per U.S. dollar at 08:20 GMT, 0.13 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.324. ** As of the previous trading session, the Hang Seng index was up 5.62 percent this year, while China’s H-share index was up 8.9 percent. As of the previous close, the Hang Seng has risen 2.45 percent this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd up 3.61 percent, followed by China Gas Holdings Ltd gaining 1.27 percent and Huaneng Power International Inc up by 1.16 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Zhuzhou CRRC Times Electric Co Ltd which was down 2.63 percent, Huatai Securities Co Ltd which fell 2.0 percent and Postal Savings Bank of China Co Ltd down by 1.8 percent. ** About 1.76 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 68.9 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 2.55 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 2.18 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 24.51 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Hang Seng index was 13.61 as of the last full trading day, while the dividend yield was 2.7 percent. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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