March 28, 2019 / 8:52 AM / 3 months ago

Hong Kong shares recover, but U.S. recession fears weigh

* Hang Seng index ends up 0.16 pct

* China Enterprises index HSCE falls 0.09 pct

* HSI financial sector sub-index flat; property sector up 1.3 pct

March 28 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares clawed back from losses to close slightly higher on Thursday, as hopes of a positive outcome from U.S.-China trade talks helped to lift sentiment, but falling U.S. Treasury yields continued to feed investors’ recession fears. ** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 46.96 points, or 0.16 percent, at 28,775.21. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 0.09 percent to 11,294.81. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 0.2 percent, while the IT sector declined 0.18 percent, the financial sector ended 0.1 percent lower and the property sector rose 1.25 percent. ** The Hang Seng had spent much of the day in negative territory, with falling U.S. 10-year yields feeding fears that an inverted U.S. Treasury yield curve could signal a recession. Yields on 10-year U.S. Treasuries fell to a fresh 15-month low on Thursday of 2.34 percent, and were last at 2.3629 percent. ** But helping to lift sentiment, Reuters reported that the United States and China have made progress in all areas under discussion in trade talks, with unprecedented movement on the touchy issue of forced technology transfers. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arrived in Beijing for the latest round of talks Thursday. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd, which gained 5.47 percent, while the biggest loser was Sino Biopharmaceutical Ltd, which fell 1.00 percent. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.92 percent at 2,994.94 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 0.4 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.11 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 1.61 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.7284 per U.S. dollar at 08:25 GMT, 0.03 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.7265. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Air China Ltd up 3.6 percent, followed by SINOPHARM GROUP CO LTD, gaining 2.54 percent, and China National Building Material Co Ltd, up by 2.51 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Byd Co Ltd, which was down 4.27 percent, China Pacific Insurance Group Co Ltd, which fell 2.6 percent, and China Tower Corp Ltd, down by 2.2 percent. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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