June 14, 2018 / 8:37 AM / a year ago

Hong Kong stocks end lower on Fed hike, soft China data

* Hang Seng index ends down 0.9 pct

* China Enterprises index HSCE falls 0.7 percent

* HSI financial sector sub-index is 0.7 percent lower; property sector down 1.2 percent

June 14 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks ended down on Thursday, after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates and struck a more hawkish tone, while downbeat Chinese data and renewed trade war fears curbed risk appetite.

** The Hang Seng index ended 0.9 percent lower at 30,440.17 points, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.7 percent to 11,950.70 points.

** The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) raised the base rate charged through overnight discount window by 25 basis points on Thursday to 2.25 percent after the U.S Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point.

** The financial sector ended down 0.6 percent after the HKMA rate hike announcement, with China Citic Bank and China Construction Bank closing down 1.7 percent and 1.1 percent respectively.

** All eyes were on a series of China economic data released earlier in the day. China’s economy is finally starting to cool under the weight of a multi-year crackdown on riskier lending that is pushing up borrowing costs for companies and consumers, with data on Thursday pointing to a broad slowdown in activity in May.

** China’s central bank sparked concerns over the health of the economy earlier in the day when it left short-term rates unchanged, surprising markets which had expected it to follow a hike by the Federal Reserve, as it has tended to do.

** Investors were kept in check amid concerns about U.S. threats to impose tariffs of billions of dollars on Chinese goods.

** U.S. President Donald Trump will meet his top trade advisers on Thursday to decide on whether to activate the tariffs, a senior Trump administration official said.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 1.1 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.99 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.3926 per U.S. dollar at 0808 GMT, 0.13 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.4007. ** As of the previous trading session, the Hang Seng index was up 2.69 percent this year, while China’s H-share index was up 2.8 percent. As of the previous close, the Hang Seng has risen 0.84 percent this month.

** The top gainers among H-shares were New China Life Insurance Co Ltd, which ended up 1.74 percent, followed by Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd, which closed 1.43 percent higher and CITIC Securities Co Ltd, which ended up by 1.15 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were China Resources Land Ltd, which closed down 3.49 percent, Great Wall Motor Co Ltd, which ended 3.4 percent lower and China Vanke Co Ltd, which ended down 3 percent. ** About 2.19 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 122.8 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 1.79 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.68 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 20.13 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Hang Seng index was 12.07 as of the last full trading day, while the dividend yield was 3.1 percent. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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