February 21, 2019 / 8:32 AM / 6 months ago

Hong Kong shares end higher as Sino-U.S. trade talks see progress

* Hang Seng index ends up 0.41 pct

* China Enterprises index HSCE rises 0.68 percent

* HSI financial sector sub-index flat; property sector up 0.5 percent

Feb 21 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares rose on Thursday as signs of progress in trade talks between the United States and China boosted investor hopes that the countries could reach an agreement to end their bruising seven-month trade war. ** The Hang Seng index settled 115.87 points higher, or 0.41 percent, at 28,629.92. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.68 percent to 11,305.98. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 0.4 percent, while the IT sector gained 1.43 percent, the financial sector was flat and the property sector added 0.48 percent. ** The United States and China have started to outline commitments in principle on the stickiest issues in their trade dispute, marking the most significant progress yet toward ending a seven-month trade war, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. ** Minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve released on Wednesday showed policymakers see little risk to leaving interest rates alone while they take time to assess rising risks, including a global slowdown, and signalled that they will soon set out a plan to stop letting go of $4 trillion in bonds and other assets. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Sands China Ltd , which rose 4.66 percent, while the biggest loser was China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd, which fell 3.65 percent. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.34 percent at 2,751.80 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 0.27 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.33 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.15 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.7109 per U.S. dollar at 08:22 GMT, 0.09 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.7171. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Air China Ltd, up 7.73 percent, followed by Great Wall Motor Co Ltd, which rose 5.02 percent and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd , up by 4.19 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were GF Securities Co Ltd, down 1.64 percent, Huaneng Power International Inc, which fell 1.0 percent and China Pacific Insurance Group Co Ltd, down 0.7 percent.

Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Shreejay Sinha

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