July 18 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares closed lower on Thursday, as investors closely monitor corporate earnings to assess the impact of Sino-U.S. trade frictions amid uncertainty over economic prospects.
** The Hang Seng index ended down 0.5% at 28,461.66, while the China Enterprises Index closed 0.6% lower at 10,784.55 points.
** Sentiment was also dented by a weak corporate earnings season so far in the United States, which underscored the negative impact of the trade standoff between Beijing and Washington. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares ended down 1.3%, while the IT sector closed 1.52% lower, the financial sector ended 0.06% lower and the property sector closed 0.38% down. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Want Want China Holdings Ltd, which closed up 1.45%, while the biggest loser was Sunny Optical Technology Group Co Ltd, which ended 2.33% weaker. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed down 1.04% at 2,901.18 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 0.95%. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.29%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 1.97%. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.875 per U.S. dollar at 08:26 GMT, 0.02% weaker than the previous close of 6.8733. ** The top gainers among H-shares were China Resources Beer Holdings Co Ltd up 2.34%, followed by PICC Property and Casualty Co Ltd, gaining 2.19% and China Pacific Insurance Group Co Ltd, closing up by 1.71%. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were China National Building Material Co Ltd, which ended down 2.61%, CNOOC Ltd, which closed 2.28% weaker and China Gas Holdings Ltd, which closed 2.25% lower. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)