December 4, 2019 / 8:50 AM / a day ago

Hong Kong stocks end at near two-month low as trade worries escalate

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 1.9%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 4.7%

* HSI -1.3%, HSCE -1.0%, CSI300 +0.0%

* FTSE China A50 -0.1%

Dec 4 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks closed at a near two-month low on Wednesday, after Trump’s remarks and renewed Sino-U.S. tensions dashed hopes for a quick trade deal between Washington and Beijing.

** The Hang Seng index fell 1.3% to 26,062.56,while the China Enterprises Index shed 1.0% to 10,254.09, their lowest closing levels since early October.

** U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments that a trade deal might have to wait until late 2020 raised fresh doubts on when the dispute might end, while a U.S. House bill targeting camps for Muslims in Xinjiang drew Beijing’s ire.

** Escalation of tensions triggered by the Xinjiang bill could jeopardize the so-called “phase one” deal already fraught with disagreements and complications, several sources familiar with Beijing’s stance told Reuters.

** With a new round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods scheduled to take effect in less than two weeks, the possibility of another breakdown is growing.

** Concerns over the months-long protests in the Asian financial hub also kept risk appetite in check.

** Business activity in Hong Kong contracted at the fastest pace in 21 years in November, dragged down by anti-government protests and softening global demand, an IHS Markit survey showed on Wednesday.

** Police in Hong Kong this week re-entered the campus of a university it besieged for more than 10 days last month, gathering newly discovered chemicals and petrol bombs hoarded by anti-government protesters.

** For the short term, there is a lack of upward momentum for Hong Kong stocks whose fundamentals are yet to pick up, while there are persistent worries over the events in Hong Kong and the prospects of Sino-U.S. trade talks, said Lin Hongwei, an analyst with Yunfeng Financial Group.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.86%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 1.05%.

** The yuan was quoted at 7.071 per U.S. dollar at 08:21 GMT, 0.14% weaker than the previous close of 7.061.

** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 29.50% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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