February 18, 2019 / 8:31 AM / a month ago

Hopes for Sino-U.S. trade detente lift Hong Kong shares

* Hang Seng index ends up 1.6 pct China Enterprises index HSCE rises 1.94 pct HSI financial sector sub-index up 1.7 pct

* Energy shares up 2.9 pct on higher oil prices

Feb 18 (Reuters) - Shares in Hong Kong ended higher Monday after the U.S. and China cited progress in trade talks in Beijing last week, as investors hope that the countries may be able to reach an agreement before a March 1 deadline. ** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 446.17 points or 1.6 percent at 28,347.01. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 1.94 percent to 11,149.02. ** U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter that trade talks with China in Beijing had been “very productive”, following a briefing by his trade team. Chinese state media on the weekend said that the trade negotiations, which continue in Washington this week, were “making a final sprint” ahead of a March 1 deadline for a deal. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking the IT sector rose 1.68 percent, the financial sector ended 1.7 percent higher and the property sector rose 0.81 percent. ** Energy shares rose 2.9 percent as oil prices hit their highest levels since November last year, lifted by OPEC-led supply cuts, U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, and hopes that the Sino-U.S. trade dispute may soon end. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was PetroChina Co Ltd , which gained 4.62 percent, while the biggest loser was Swire Pacific Ltd, which fell 0.77 percent. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed up 2.68 percent at 2,754.36 points, its highest close since Sept. 28. The blue-chip CSI300 jumped 3.2 percent to 3,445.74 points, its highest close since Aug. 1. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.91 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 1.82 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.7667 per U.S. dollar at 08:23 GMT, 0.12 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.775. ** The top gainers among H-shares were CITIC Securities Co Ltd up 6.62 percent, followed by GF Securities Co Ltd , gaining 5.92 percent and Huatai Securities Co Ltd , up by 5.2 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Byd Co Ltd, which was down 1.49 percent, Hengan International Group Company Ltd, which fell 0.4 percent and China Vanke Co Ltd, down by 0.2 percent. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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