May 3, 2019 / 5:00 AM / 2 months ago

Hong Kong shares flat as investors await fresh cues

* Hang Seng flat, H-shares -0.1 pct; China closed for holiday

* U.S. jobs data due; Wall St dragged by overnight losses in oil

* Profit at blue-chip HSBC comes in above estimates

HONG KONG, May 3 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares were trading flat on Friday as investors awaited U.S. jobs data, while mainland Chinese markets remained closed for Labour Day holiday. ** At midday, the Hang Seng index was pretty much unchanged at 29,937.73 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index dipped 0.1 percent. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares fell 0.9 percent, the IT sector lost 0.3 percent, the financial sector was trading flat, while property stocks edged 0.1 percent higher. ** China financial markets are shut for Labour Day holiday. Trading will resume on Monday, May 6. ** To mark the ascension of Japan’s new emperor, the government had declared an unprecedented 10-day holiday from late April to early May. Japan markets will be back in action on May 7. ** On Wall Street, the Dow and S&P gave up initial gains and turned negative as the energy sector weakened. ** HSBC Holdings PLC posted on Friday a 31 percent rise in first-quarter profit, beating estimates, bolstered by a surge in income in its core Asian business and as the bank managed to rein in costs. ** Global investors await the release of April’s U.S. nonfarm payrolls, due later in the day, which probably increased by 185,000 jobs last month after rising 196,000 in March, according to a Reuters survey of economists. ** The United States and China are nearing a trade deal that would roll back a portion of the $250 billion in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, Politico reported on Wednesday after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the two countries completed “productive” talks in Beijing. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Techtronic Industries Co Ltd, which gained 3 percent, while the biggest loser was CNOOC Ltd, which dropped 2 percent. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Shenzhou International Group Holdings Ltd, which rose 2.6 percent, followed by China Railway Group Ltd, which gained 2.3 percent and Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd, up by 1.5 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were CNOOC Ltd, which slipped 2 percent, Air China Ltd, which dropped 1.2 percent and China Cinda Asset Management Co Ltd, down by 1 percent. ** The short and one-factor leveraged Hang Seng index, which is designed to replicate the payoff of a short or leveraged portfolio and is linked to the movements of the Hang Seng Index, was higher by 0.02 percent on the day at 4,604.8 points. (Reporting by Noah Sin, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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