Company News

Hong Kong stocks fall as financial, consumer firms retreat

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used -4.5%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 6.2%

* HSI -1.0%, HSCE -1.9%, CSI300 -0.6%

* FTSE China A50 -0.6%

Aug 31 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks reversed earlier gains to end lower on Monday, weighed down by financial and consumer staples firms.

** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was down 245.01 points, or 0.96%, at 25,177.05. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 1.88% to 9,991.48.

** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 0.9%, while the IT sector dipped 0.91%, and the property sector slipped 0.67%.

** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, which gained 4.07%, while the biggest loser was China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd, which fell 4.02%.

** Heavyweight banking shares retreated, after China’s five largest state-owned banks reported their biggest profit falls in at least a decade and an increase in soured loans when announcing their half-year results on Sunday and last week.

** Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest commercial lender by assets, fell 3.6%.

** Consumer firms also dropped as investors booked profits following a strong rally.

** The Hang Seng consumer staples index closed down 2.3%, after rising as much as 1.7% in early morning trade.

** Bellwether Tsingtao Brewery Co Ltd ended down 5%, after surging to an all-time high since listing in the city in July 1993.

** China’s factory activity grew at a slower pace in August as floods across southwestern China disrupted output, but the services sector expanded at a solid rate in a boost to the economy.

** But some analysts fear that the recovery could stall, hurt by rising tensions between Washington and Beijing and on possibility of another wave of local infections in the winter.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.4%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 1.12%.

** The yuan was quoted at 6.8548 per U.S. dollar at 08:28 GMT, 0.14% firmer than the previous close of 6.8646. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)