February 8, 2019 / 8:40 AM / 8 months ago

HK shares end weaker on renewed trade anxiety

* HSI -0.2 pct; HSCE -0.7 pct; cut earlier losses

* Trump says no meeting with Xi before March 1 deadline

* China to resume trading on Monday; may rise on policy

HONG KONG, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks ended weaker on Friday as the absence of any positive signs for a resolution in the U.S.-China trade row dented sentiment, but the market pared losses as investors eyed support from A-shares, which will resume trading next week. ** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was down 0.2 percent at 27,946.32 points, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 0.7 percent. ** Energy shares shed 1.4 percent as oil markets slipped on concerns over a global economic slowdown. ** But the IT sector ended 0.2 percent firmer, the financial sector closed up 0.1 percent and the property sector ended 0.3 percent higher. ** U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he did not plan to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping before the March 1 deadline set by the two countries to achieve a trade deal, while White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the two leaders’ meeting “is off in the distance”. ** However, Hong Kong shares rebounded mid-session, having lost more than 1 percent in early trade, because “the market believes A-shares will open higher on Monday” as investors expect Beijing to continue its support for economic growth, said Steven Leung, director of sales, UOB Kay Hian in Hong Kong. ** The Hong Kong market reopened on Friday after a three-day Lunar New Year holiday. Trading in mainland Chinese stocks remained closed this week and will resume on Monday. ** U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are expected in Beijing next week for a new round of trade talks with Chinese officials. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Sunny Optical Technology Group Co Ltd, which ended 3.7 percent higher, while the biggest loser was WH Group Ltd, which closed 3.1 percent weaker. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.5 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 2 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd, which ended down 3.1 percent, Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd, which closed 3 percent lower and China Cinda Asset Management Co Ltd, which ended down by 2.9 percent. ** The short and one-factor leveraged Hang Seng index, which is designed to replicate the payoff of a short or leveraged portfolio and is linked to the movements of the Hang Seng Index, was higher by 0.18 percent at 4,945.63 points. (Reporting by the Hong Kong Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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