January 6, 2020 / 8:36 AM / 7 months ago

HK stocks end lower as Iran-U.S. tensions weigh

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 3.2%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 3.8%

* HSI -0.8%, HSCE -0.8%, CSI300 -0.4%

* FTSE China A50 -0.8%

Jan 6 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks closed lower on Monday, tracking broad weakness in Asian peers, as mounting tensions in the Middle East spurred geopolitical uncertainty and demand for safe-haven assets.

** The Hang Seng index ended 0.8% lower at 28,226.19, while the China Enterprises Index closed 0.8% weaker at 11,165.41.

** U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose sanctions on Iraq and retaliate against Iran if Tehran strikes back after the killing of its top commander. His threat against Iraq comes after its parliament voted in favour of expelling U.S. troops.

** For the short-term, equities on the mainland and Hong Kong could be under pressure from the rising Middle East tensions, Zhang Chi, an analyst with Western Securities, said in report.

** The correction pressure would be higher in Hong Kong than in the A-share market, given the former’ s stronger linkage with the U.S. stock market, Zhang added.

** Sectors dropped across the board, except energy shares that gained as the Middle East turmoil also stoked worries about global crude supply and lifted oil prices to nearly four-month peaks. The Hang Seng energy sub-index ended 2.1% firmer.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.82%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed 1.91% lower.

** The yuan was quoted at 6.9746 per U.S. dollar at 0817 GMT, 0.14% weaker than the previous close of 6.965.

** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 26.93% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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