* HSBC, Standard Chartered fall as Hong Kong unrest hits markets
* Luxury goods sector also under pressure
* FTSEurofirst 300 edges lower
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Companies exposed to Hong Kong underperformed sluggish European stock markets on Monday, as civil unrest in the Asian city weighed on banks such as HSBC and luxury goods groups such as Richemont.
Hong Kong democracy protesters defied volleys of tear gas and police baton charges to stand firm in the centre of the global financial hub on Monday, in one of the biggest political challenges for Beijing since the Tiananmen Square crackdown 25 years ago.
Banks in Hong Kong, including HSBC, Citigroup , Bank of China, Standard Chartered and DBS, temporarily shut some branches and advised staff to work from home or go to secondary branches.
Standard Chartered fell by 2 percent, while HSBC weakened by 1.9 percent, making those two banks among the worst-performing stocks on the broader, pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index , which was down 0.4 percent at 1,372.08 points.
The luxury goods sector was also impacted by the unrest in Hong Kong, since many of the companies in the sector have targeted a growing affluent Chinese clientele in recent years.
Swiss luxury goods group Richemont fell 1.8 percent while French rival LVMH retreated by 0.9 percent.
“The Hong Kong situation, combined with the fact that the month of October is traditionally a weak period for stock markets, is adding to an environment that is not supportive for equities,” said Francois Savary, chief investment officer at Swiss bank Reyl.
Savary added, however, that he felt that any stock market pullback caused by the Hong Kong situation would be cushioned by expectations of new economic stimulus measures from the European Central Bank (ECB).
“I think that the general environment is tilting more towards a consolidation, rather than a correction. The ECB will continue to inject liquidity into the system,” said Savary.
Justin Haque, a broker at Hobart Capital Markets, also expected October to be a weak month for equity markets, and backed selling HSBC shares.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index remains up by around 4 percent since the start of 2014. The index hit a peak of 1,410.93 points on Sept. 19, which marked its highest level since early 2008, but has since eased back from that rally.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (additional reporting by Francesco Canepa; editing by Susan Thomas)