December 20, 2018 / 8:41 AM / a month ago

Hong Kong shares end lower after HKMA tracks Fed rate hike

* Hang Seng index ends down 0.94 pct

* China Enterprises index HSCE falls 1.03 percent

* HSI financial sector sub-index is 0.9 percent lower; property sector down 1.2 percent

Dec 20 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares ended lower on Thursday after the city’s de facto central bank raised its base rate in line with the U.S. Federal Reserve, and warned of increasing downside risks to the economy. ** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was down 241.86 points or 0.94 percent at 25,623.53. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 1.03 percent to 10,090.75. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 1.2 percent, while the IT sector dipped 0.88 percent, the financial sector ended 0.92 percent lower and the property sector dipped 1.2 percent. ** The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) on Thursday warned of increasing downside risks to the economy from uncertainty over the Sino-U.S trade dispute, urging residents to be prepared for possible market volatility after U.S. interest rate hikes. The HKMA increased the base rate charged through its overnight discount window by 25 basis points, but large banks left their prime lending rates unchanged. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Hengan International Group Company Ltd, which gained 0.76 percent, while the biggest loser was CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd, which fell 4.57 percent. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.52 percent at 2,536.27 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 0.77 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 1.02 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 2.84 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.8958 per U.S. dollar at 08:23 GMT, 0.06 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.892. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd up 1.72 percent, followed by Hengan International Group Company Ltd, gaining 0.76 percent and PICC Property and Casualty Co Ltd, up by 0.51 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Air China Ltd, which was down 4.93 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd, which fell 4.6 percent and Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd, down by 3.2 percent. ** About 1.77 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 112 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 1.58 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.47 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 18.39 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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