July 24, 2020 / 8:38 AM / in 18 days

Hong Kong stocks end week lower as Sino-U.S. tensions escalate

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used -16.1%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used -6.5%

* HSI -2.2%, HSCE -2.4%, CSI300 -4.4%

* FTSE China A50 -3.9%

July 24 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks fell on Friday to close the week lower as escalating tensions between China and the United States assuaged optimism about a swift post-pandemic economic rebound.

** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was down 557.67 points or 2.21% at 24,705.33. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 2.37% to 10,080.86.

** For the week, HSI lost 1.5%, while HSCE retreated 1.2%.

** The mood darkened for equity markets after Beijing ordered the United States to close its consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu, days after Washington ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston.

** U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also took aim at China, calling for Washington and its allies to use “more creative and assertive ways” to press the Chinese Communist Party to change its ways.

** “Another escalation in tensions in the Sino-U.S. relationship is extremely unfavourable to economic recovery under the impact of the pandemic,” China Construction Bank analysts wrote in a note.

** “We expect that before the dust settles on November’s U.S. presidential election, the U.S. will repeatedly provoke contradictory disputes with China. We will closely monitor the implementation of the Phase 1 trade deal between the U.S. and China,” they said.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 1.8%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.58%.

** The yuan was quoted at 7.0208 per U.S. dollar at 0817 GMT, 0.24% weaker than the previous close of 7.004.

** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 31.52% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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