November 18, 2019 / 8:56 AM / a month ago

HK stocks end firmer as stimulus hopes boost risk sentiment

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 0.8%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 4.4%

* HSI +1.4%, HSCE +1.3%, CSI300 +0.8%

* FTSE China A50 +0.8%

Nov 18 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks closed higher on Monday, following steep losses the previous week, as lacklustre economic data stoked hopes of fresh stimulus measures to revive flagging growth in the Asian financial hub.

** The Hang Seng index ended up 1.4% at 26,681.09, while the China Enterprises Index gained 1.3% to 10,556.56.

** Government data confirmed on Friday that Hong Kong has sunk into recession for the first time in a decade in the third quarter, weighed down by increasingly violent anti-government protests and the U.S.-China trade dispute.

** “Ending violence and restoring calm are pivotal to the recovery of the economy. The government will continue to closely monitor the situation and introduce measures as necessary to support enterprises and safeguard,” the government said.

** Sentiment got a lift after China’s central bank unexpectedly trimmed a closely watched lending rate on Monday, the first such cut in more than four years and a signal to markets that policymakers are ready to act to prop up slowing growth.

** Investors were also awaiting concrete signs of progress in the Sino-U.S. trade negotiations.

** Doubts about the trade talks emerged early last week, although optimism gradually returned as U.S. officials sounded more positive. Neither side, however, provided concrete details about their trade negotiations.

** China and United States had “constructive talks” on trade in a high-level phone call on Saturday, state media Xinhua said.

** U.S. President Donald Trump had not yet agreed to remove any tariffs as part of a deal, and the size of China’s commitment to purchase U.S. farm products was not yet clear, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Friday in an interview on Fox Business Network.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.5%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.49%.

** The yuan was quoted at 7.0113 per U.S. dollar at 0817 GMT, 0.06% weaker than the previous close of 7.0072.

** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 29.07% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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