May 2, 2019 / 9:02 AM / a year ago

Hong Kong stocks end higher as trade optimism boosts sentiment

* Hang Seng index up 0.83 pct HSCE rises 0.13 pct HSI financial sub-index 1.3 pct higher; property up 0.9 pct

HONG KONG, May 2 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks closed firmer on Thursday as investors cheered signs of progress in the U.S.-China trade negotiations, while financials and property shares boosted the index after the U.S. Federal Reserve kept the target range for policy rate steady.

** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 245.07 points, or 0.83 percent, at 29,944.18. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index closed 0.13 percent higher at 11,556.72.

** China markets were closed for Labour Day holiday and will resume trading on Monday, May 6. ** The United States and China are nearing a trade deal that would roll back a portion of on Wednesday after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven the $250 billion in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, Politico reported Mnuchin said the two countries completed “productive” talks in Beijing.

** The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday held interest rates steady and signaled little appetite to adjust them any time soon, taking heart in continued job gains and economic growth and the likelihood that weak inflation will edge higher. ** Hong Kong’s leading financial services companies - including HSBC Holdings and BOC Hong Kong - said they would leave their interest rates unchanged.

** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares ended down 1.1 percent, while the IT sector closed 0.23 percent higher, the financial sector ended 1.33 percent higher and the property sector ended up 0.91 percent. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd, which closed up 5.69 percent, while the biggest loser was Hengan International Group Company Ltd, which closed 2.60 percent lower. ** The top gainers among H-shares were China Tower Corp Ltd up 3.3 percent, followed by Postal Savings Bank of China Co Ltd, gaining 1.89 percent and Guangdong Investment Ltd, up by 1.77 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd, which ended down 2.9 percent, Hengan International Group Company Ltd, which closed 2.6 percent lower and CNOOC Ltd, which closed 2.1 percent weaker. ** About 1.34 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 80.9 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 1.66 billion shares a day.

** So far this week, the market capitalisation of the Hang Seng index has risen by 0.30 percent to HK$19.45 trillion. (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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