August 1, 2019 / 8:26 AM / 3 months ago

Hong Kong stocks close at 7-week low on Fed comments, slowdown worries

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used -2%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 2%

* HSI -0.8%, HSCE -0.5%, CSI300 -0.8%

* FTSE China A50 -1.0%

SHANGHAI, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks fell to seven-week closing lows on Thursday, tracking broader Asia, after the U.S. Federal Reserve’s dovish comments dampened long-term outlook for a rate cut and the island’s economy grew less than expected in the second quarter.

** The Hang Seng index fell 0.8%, to 27,565.70, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.5%, to 10,621.57.

** So far this week, the HSI has lost 2.9%, on track for its biggest weekly drop since early May.

** The Fed cut interest rates on Wednesday, but the head of the U.S. central bank said the move might not be the start of a lengthy campaign to shore up the economy against risks, including global weakness.

** Hong Kong’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate in its first policy easing since late 2008 on Thursday, tracking the U.S. rate reduction overnight, although heightened demand for cash in the city is expected to keep funding costs elevated.

** Hong Kong’s economy grew less than expected in the second quarter as the U.S.-China trade war escalated, and pressure looks set to intensify as mass anti-government protests rock the Asian financial centre.

** U.S. and Chinese negotiators ended a brief round of trade talks on Wednesday with little sign of progress and agreed to meet again in September.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.83%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.09%.

** The yuan was quoted at 6.903 per U.S. dollar at 08:14 GMT, 0.28% weaker than the previous close of 6.884.

** The top gainers among H-shares were ENN Energy Holdings Ltd, up 1.23%, followed by SINOPHARM GROUP CO LTD , gaining 0.51%, and China Life Insurance Co Ltd , up by 0.5%.

** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd, which was down 3.18%, Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd, which fell 3.13%, and China Resources Land Ltd, down by 3.1%.

** About 1.79 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 138.5% of the market’s 30-day moving average of 1.29 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.33 billion.

** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 29.62% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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