June 5, 2017 / 8:22 AM / a year ago

Hong Kong stocks end lower, investors await China economic data

June 5 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks closed lower on Monday, taking a breather after hitting fresh 23-month intraday highs, with investors awaiting Chinese economic data for May and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate decision later this month.

The Hang Seng index fell 0.2 percent, to 25,862.99, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.7 percent, to 10,597.05 points.

The Hang Seng has jumped more than 17 percent so far this year, aided by Chinese money inflows, but investors are getting increasingly cautious amid signs global investors are cashing out.

Hong Kong-focused exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have witnessed HK$8.5 billion ($1.09 billion) of net outflows during the first five months of this year, including HK$5.4 billion flowing out of Tracker Fund of Hong Kong ETF, according to China Investment Securities (HK).

This reflects the waning attraction of emerging markets as U.S. and European markets power higher. Another rate hike by the Federal Reserve this month could attract more money into the United States.

Meanwhile, investors are awaiting a series of economic data from China to assess the health of the world’s second-largest economy.

Sector performance was mixed. An index tracking Chinese developers jumped roughly 3 percent to a record high.

Hong Kong shares in China Shenhua jumped as much as 6.8 percent on speculation of a possible merger deal between its parent and another large state-owned power producer.

$1 = 7.7916 Hong Kong dollars Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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