* .HSI +1.08 pct, .HSCE +1.27 pct
* Financial sub-index is 1.4 pct higher; property up 1.1 pct
* HSI ends Jan 8.1 pct higher, biggest pct gain since Jan 2018
HONG KONG, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s main Hang Seng index ended higher on Thursday, while China’s H-shares index also closed firmer tracking gains in China market, after the U.S. Federal Reserve pledged to be patient with further interest rate hikes. ** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 299.62 points or 1.08 percent at 27,942.47. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 1.27 percent to 11,035.73. ** The Hang Seng Index jumped 8.1 percent this month, while the Chinese Enterprises Index rose 9 percent, both marking their biggest monthly percentage gain since January 2018. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares closed 1.2 percent firmer, while the IT sector ended up 1.21 percent, the financial sector ended 1.37 percent higher and the property sector closed up 1.13 percent. ** The U.S. Federal Reserve said it would be “patient” before making any further moves amid a suddenly cloudy outlook for the U.S. economy due to global growth risks and impasses over trade and government budget negotiations. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd, which gained 5.68 percent, while the biggest loser was China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd, which dropped 2.81 percent. ** Chinese factory activity contracted for a second straight month in January, data showed on Thursday, pointing to further strains on the economy that could heighten risks to global growth. ** Official data on Thursday also showed that growth in China’s services industry picked up for a second straight month in January, reflecting some pockets of strength in an economy that is cooling under pressure from weak demand at home and abroad. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.35 percent at 2,584.57 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 1.05 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.81 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 1.06 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.704 per U.S. dollar at 0810 GMT, 0.17 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.7156. ** The top gainers among H-shares were New China Life Insurance Co Ltd up 9.39 percent, followed by China Gas Holdings Ltd, gaining 3.96 percent and CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd, up by 3.7 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co Ltd, which was down 1.82 percent, Great Wall Motor Co Ltd, which dropped 1.12 percent and China Telecom, down by 0.70 percent. ** About 2.29 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 150.2 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 1.53 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.88 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 17.11 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Hang Seng index was 10.79 as of the last full trading day while the dividend yield was 3.4 percent.
Reporting by Donny Kwok, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips