March 3, 2017 / 8:22 AM / a year ago

Hong Kong stocks end at 1-month low on US interest rate concerns

SHANGHAI, March 3 (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s benchmark share index closed at a one-month low on Friday, pulled down by profit-taking pressure as investors fretted that anticipated higher U.S. interest rates will raise borrowing costs.

Investors also kept in view China’s annual parliament meeting that kicks off on Sunday, which is widely expected to send more signals of painful reform than market-friendly stimulus.

The Hang Seng index fell 0.7 percent, to 23,552.72, while the China Enterprises Index lost 1.0 percent, to 10,144.47 points.

For the week, the Hang Seng lost 1.7 pct while the HSCE declined 1.3 percent.

Remarks by Federal Reserve officials suggesting there’s a need for higher rates has seen the implied probability of a move this month shoot to 74 percent, from just 30 percent at the start of the week.

China Investment Securities (HK) said investors need to watch closely the impact of a possible U.S. rate increase on China’s currency and bond markets, which bore the brunt after the Fed’s December hike.

All main sectors fell in Hong Kong, with rate-sensitive property stocks among the biggest decliners. (Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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