January 7, 2019 / 8:43 AM / 3 months ago

Hong Kong shares end higher on China reserves requirement cut, dovish Fed

* Hang Seng index ends up 0.82 pct

* China Enterprises index HSCE rises 0.94 pct

* HSI financial sector sub-index flat; property sector up 1.2 pct

Jan 7 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares ended higher on Monday after China’s central bank cut banks’ reserve requirements to boost the economy, and after the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve moved to ease market concerns over the Fed’s response to slowing growth. ** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 0.82 percent at 25,835.70. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.94 percent to 10,123.85. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 1.9 percent, while the IT sector rose 2.08 percent, the financial sector ended 0.45 percent higher and the property sector rose 1.22 percent. ** The People’s Bank of China said on Friday it was cutting the amount of cash that banks have to hold as reserves for the fifth time in a year, freeing up $116 billion for new lending as it tries to reduce the risk of a sharp economic slowdown. ** Also on Friday, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell sought to ease market concerns that the U.S. central bank was ignoring signs of an economic slowdown, saying he was aware of the risks and would be patient and flexible in policy decisions this year. Jobs data released Friday highlighted continued strength in the U.S. economy. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was WH Group Ltd, which rose 3.25 percent, while the biggest loser was Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, which fell 3.03 percent. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.72 percent at 2,533.09, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 0.61 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 1.33 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 2.44 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.8503 per U.S. dollar at 08:24 GMT, 0.3 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.871. The currency strengthened to a one-month high against the dollar on Monday. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Air China Ltd up 5.93 percent, followed by Huatai Securities Co Ltd, gaining 4.07 percent and Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd, up by 3.54 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were New China Life Insurance Co Ltd, which was down 7.57 percent, Shenzhou International Group Holdings Ltd, which fell 1.8 percent and Hengan International Group Company Ltd, down by 0.6 percent. ** About 1.49 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 102.1 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 1.46 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.76 billion. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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