July 5, 2019 / 9:29 AM / in a year

Hong Kong shares ease ahead of U.S. jobs data

* HSI -0.1%, HSCE -0.2%; volume lowest since early Feb

* Asian markets fall marginally ahead of U.S. jobs data

* U.S. says China trade talks to resume next week

HONG KONG, July 5 (Reuters) - The Hong Kong stock market fell slightly on Friday, amid thin trade, ahead of the release of U.S. non-farm payrolls data, which could stoke or temper market expectations about an aggressive policy easing by the Federal Reserve.

** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was down by less than 0.1% at 28,774.83, and up 0.8% week-on-week. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index, which fell 0.2% on the day, posted weekly gains of 0.1%. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares was flat, the IT sector lost 0.2%, the financial sector ended almost 0.1% lower and the property sector rose 0.3%. ** Asian shares hovered near two-month highs on Friday as investors braced for U.S. employment data. ** Local interest rates by and large eased but remained elevated at decade-highs on Friday as investors scrambled for cash ahead of a jumbo IPO, which is coinciding with the dividend season. ** The Hong Kong Dollar is pegged to the U.S. Dollar at a tight range of 7.75-7.85. It stayed on the stronger side of that band after rallying on Thursday to its firmest level since 2017 as local rates climbed. ** Trading volume in Hong Kong was at its lowest since February 4. About 873.11 million Hang Seng index shares were traded. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 957.17 million. ** Top representatives of the United States and China are organising a resumption of talks for next week to try to resolve a year-long trade war between the world’s two largest economies, Trump administration officials said. ** However, White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow sounded unclear about the timeline for relaunching face-to-face talks, saying that these would begin “soon”. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Techtronic Industries Co Ltd, which gained 1.4%, while the biggest loser was Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, which fell 6.4%. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 29.15% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares.

Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; editing by Uttaresh.V

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