March 29, 2018 / 8:29 AM / a year ago

Hong Kong stocks end higher amid perceived progress on N.Korea issues

* Hang Seng index ends up 0.2 pct

* China Enterprises index HSCE flat

* HSI financial sector sub-index is flat; property sector up 0.2 percent

March 29 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks ended higher amid perceived progress on North Korea issues, though caution lingered as investors continued to watch the development of China-U.S. trade spat. ** At close of trade, the Hang Seng index closed 0.2 percent up at 30,093.38, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises index was flat at 1198.34. ** North and South Korea will hold their first summit in more than a decade on April 27, South Korean officials said on Thursday, after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pledged his commitment to denuclearisation as tensions ease between the old foes. ** Japan has sounded out the North Korean government about a bilateral summit, and Pyongyang has discussed the possibility of a leaders’ meeting with Japan and other countries, Japan’s Asahi newspaper said on Thursday. ** However, caution lingered as investors kept an eye on developments regarding the ongoing Sino-U.S. trade spat. ** U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods may not be imposed until early June, administration officials said on Wednesday, with public consultations and potential tariff revisions buying time for negotiations to forestall them. ** China warned the United States on Thursday not to open a Pandora’s Box and spark a flurry of protectionist practices across the globe, even as Beijing pointed to U.S. goods that it could target in a deepening Sino-U.S. trade dispute. ** The top gainer on Hang Seng was China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd , which closed 7.75 percent higher, while the biggest loser was PetroChina Co Ltd, which ended down 1.82 percent. ** As of previous session, the Hang Seng index was up 0.35 percent this year, while China’s H-share index climbed 2.5 percent. As of previous close, Hang Seng declined 2.67 percent this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Air China Ltd up 5.37 percent, followed by Shenzhou International Group Holdings Ltd, which gained 4.89 percent and Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd, which rose 4.64 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Byd Co Ltd, which was down 2.69 percent, ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co Ltd, which dropped 2.6 percent and Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd, which ended 2.5 percent down. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 27.06 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Hang Seng index was 12.27 as of the last full trading day while the dividend yield was 3.2 percent. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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