April 13, 2018 / 8:39 AM / 2 months ago

Hong Kong stocks slip, fret over China March export drop

* Hang Seng index ends down 0.1 pct

* China Enterprises index HSCE falls 0.2 percent

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

April 13 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks slipped on Friday as investors pondered over China’s trade data in March and the implications of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. ** The Hang Seng index closed down 0.1 percent at 30,808.38, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.2 percent to 12,261.23. ** For the week, the HSI gained 3.2 percent. ** China’s trade surplus with the United States surged nearly 20 percent in the first quarter, with some analysts speculating exporters were rushing out shipments to get ahead of threatened tariffs that are spurring fears of a full-blown trade war. ** The latest readings on the health of China’s trade sector are unlikely to ease tensions following weeks of tit-for-tat tariff threats by Washington and Beijing, though they suggest China’s economy is still in relatively solid shape. ** Investors were also keeping an eye on the tensions in the Middle East even after suggestions from U.S. President Donald Trump that a military strike on Syria may not be imminent. ** The top gainer on Hang Seng was BOC Hong Kong Holdings Ltd , up 2.02 percent, while the biggest loser was WH Group Ltd that was down 2.42 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.12 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.55 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.2846 per U.S. dollar at 08:13 GMT, 0.12 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.2922. ** As of the previous trading session, the Hang Seng index was up 3.05 percent this year, while China’s H-share index was up 4.9 percent. As of the previous close, the Hang Seng has risen 2.45 percent this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Shenzhou International Group Holdings Ltd up 3.71 percent, followed by China Telecom Corp Ltd gaining 1.4 percent and Postal Savings Bank of China Co Ltd up by 1.36 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd which was down 4.84 percent, SINOPHARM GROUP CO LTD which fell 3.4 percent and China Vanke Co Ltd down by 2.7 percent. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 22.88 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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