July 8, 2019 / 8:40 AM / in a year

Hong Kong shares slump as investors trim U.S. easing bets

* Hang Seng index ends down 1.54%

* China Enterprises index HSCE falls 1.56%

* HSI financial sector sub-index falls 1.2%; property sector down 2%

July 8 (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index on Monday posted its biggest daily drop in nearly four weeks, tracking a global pullback in equities after strong nonfarm payroll data out of the U.S. led investors to trim their bets on aggressive easing by the Fed. ** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was down 1.54% at 28,331.69. It was the biggest daily fall for the bourse since June 12. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index dropped 1.56% to 10,725.2. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dropped 1.7%, while the IT sector lost 2.35%, the financial sector ended 1.23% lower and the property sector lost 1.97%. ** Stronger-than-expected nonfarm payrolls data tempered widespread expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will aggressively ease rates at its July meeting. Some analysts say that a move by the Fed to cut rates could lead to China cutting its own rates for the first time in four years. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Sands China Ltd , which gained 0.39%, while the biggest loser was Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, which fell 4.10%. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed down 2.58% at 2,933.36 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended 2.32% lower. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 1.37%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.98%. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.8828 per U.S. dollar at 0824 GMT, 0.16% firmer than the previous close of 6.894. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Guangdong Investment Ltd up 1.13%, followed by PICC Property and Casualty Co Ltd, gaining 1.05% and China Resources Beer Holdings Co Ltd, up by 0.67%. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were ANTA Sports Products Ltd, which ended down 7.32%, China Resources Land Ltd, which closed 4.07% lower and Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd, which closed 3.20% weaker. ** About 1.29 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 76.7% of the market’s 30-day moving average of 1.68 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 873.11 million. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 28.12% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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