April 2, 2019 / 9:03 AM / 24 days ago

Manufacturing boost, trade deal hopes lift Hong Kong shares

* Hang Seng index ends up 0.21 pct

* China Enterprises index HSCE falls 0.09 percent

* HSI financial sector sub-index flat

April 2 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares edged up to a fresh nine-month high, extending the rally into sixth straight session as positive factory data from China and the U.S., and indications of progress in trade talks continued to bolster investor sentiment. ** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 62.65 points or 0.21 percent at 29,624.67, its highest close since June 20. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 0.09 percent to 11,546.66. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 0.5 percent, while the IT sector rose 0.19 percent; the financial sector ended 0.32 percent higher and the property sector dipped 0.36 percent. ** The rise in broader indexes comes after data showed improvements in the U.S. manufacturing activity during March and construction spending for February, while Chinese data for March showed the country’s manufacturing sector unexpectedly returning to growth for the first time in four months, in a sign that government stimulus measures may be slowly gaining traction. ** Investor sentiment, which has been rattled by concerns on trade, was further soothed by the news that both the U.S. and China reported progress in talks aimed at ending their trade war. A Chinese trade delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He will visit Washington for the newest round of talks starting on Wednesday. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd, which rose 4.06 percent, while the biggest loser was China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd, which fell 2.05 percent. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.2 percent at 3,176.82 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 0.07 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.18 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.02 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.7218 per U.S. dollar at 08:27 GMT, 0.14 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.7125. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd up 3.6 percent, followed by Huaneng Power International Inc, gaining 2.64 percent and China Tower Corp Ltd, up by 2.16 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, which was down 5.56 percent, China Railway Group Ltd, which fell 3.3 percent and Huatai Securities Co Ltd, down by 2.0 percent. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Edited by Uttaresh.V)

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