March 6 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares edged lower on Friday in the wake of sobering comments top officials made to the National People’s Congress on the economic outlook.
Leaders including Li Keqiang, China’s premier, and Lou Jiwei, the minister of finance, have cautioned this week the country now faces larger economic challenges than in the past. <ID:L4N0W63JJ>
For the week, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 2.7 percent, largely in line with mainland bourses.
On the day, the HSI fell 0.1 percent, to 24,164.00, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.1 percent, to 11,606.93 points.
Telecom, financial and Macau casino stocks led the HSI lower. Total trading volume of companies included in the index was 1.6 billion shares.
Analysts blamed the fall largely on the sombre tone of official rhetoric in Beijing, where China’s parliament is meeting this week to approve growth and development targets for the coming year.
“Hong Kong investors are focusing on the China plate recently,” said Castor Pang, head of research at Core Pacific Yamaichi in Hong Kong, adding that investor sentiment was “dampened” by Li’s growth remarks. (Reporting by Winni Zhou and Nathaniel Taplin; Editing by Richard Borsuk)