Dec 3 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks closed slightly lower on Tuesday, as U.S. President Donald Trump’s surprise tariffs on imports from Brazil and Argentina rekindled fears of global trade tensions. ** The Hang Seng index ended down 0.2% at 26,391.30, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.1% to 10,355.92 points.
** In an early morning tweet, Trump said the tariffs, “effective immediately,” were necessary because “Brazil and Argentina have been presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies. which is not good for our farmers.”
** The tariff threat also overshadowed encouraging data from euro zone economies and China.
** Trump added that U.S. legislation backing protesters in Hong Kong did not make trade negotiations with China easier, but added that he believes Beijing still wants a deal.
** Meanwhile, China banned U.S. military ships and aircraft from visiting Hong Kong and slapped sanctions on several U.S. non-government organisations for allegedly encouraging pro-democracy protesters in the city to commit violent acts.
** Following Trump’s surprise tariff threat, there are worries that disputes between China and the United States would be hard to resolve given his emphasis on American interests, said Tian Weidong, an analyst with Kaiyuan Securities.
** Financial and construction shares ended lower, while raw material stocks advanced.
Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips