March 22, 2019 / 8:35 AM / in 3 months

Hong Kong stocks flat ahead of trade talks; Tencent stabilises

March 22 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks recouped losses to end largely unchanged on Friday, boosted by a late-session rally in index-heavyweight Tencent Holdings, as caution reigned ahead of a fresh round of Sino-U.S. trade talks.

** The Hang Seng index rose 0.1 percent to 29,113.36, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.2 percent to 11,517.48 points.

** A U.S. trade delegation headed by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will visit China on March 28-29 for the next round of negotiations, China’s commerce ministry said on Thursday.

** Sentiment improved after Tencent reversed early losses in late afternoon trading. The stock had dropped after its sharpest-ever quarterly profit fall and slowest annual profit growth in 13 years. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 0.3 percent, while the IT sector rose 0.7 percent, the financial sector ended 0.06 percent higher and the property sector rose 0.28 percent. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, which rose 5.96 percent, while the biggest loser was China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd, which fell 2.11 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index added 0.21 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.09 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.7049 per U.S. dollar at 08:17 GMT, 0.08 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.6998. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)

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