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=ASIA MARKETS: Hong Kong Shares Extend Losses After US Equities Retreat

HONG KONG (Jun 22) -- Hong Kong shares headed lower on Friday after Wall Street indexes logged losses overnight as investors worried about the impact of pending U.S. and Chinese tariffs on each other’s products.

The Hang Seng Index had fallen 0.3% to 29,217.28 by noon. PetroChina and CNOOC lost 2.3% and 1.3%, respectively, after global crude prices retreated overnight. China Petroleum & Chemical (Sinopec) shed 1.6%. Light-rail operator MTR added 2.1%, heading for its first advance in seven days, after Nomura upgraded the stock to “buy” from “neutral,” based on what it described as a stronger earnings growth outlook.

Hong Kong’s main gauge was on course for its sixth loss in seven days after U.S. equity indexes ended lower overnight, with the Nasdaq Composite coming off Wednesday’s record closing high and the Dow Jones Industrial Average logging its eight consecutive decline. The mood of investors has been jittery this week after tariff announcements from the U.S. and China. U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday warned of the possible imposition of tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports. This followed his move to raise levies on $50 billion of Chinese goods and equal retaliation by Beijing.

“Market participants are still carefully waiting for signs of a turnaround in the U.S.-China tariff measures before they are implemented on July 6,” said Will Leung, head of investment strategy for Hong Kong and greater China wealth management at Standard Chartered Bank. “I don't think Trump is eager for a reversal at the moment, as he is eyeing the November midterm elections and will continue bargaining with China. Hong Kong and global equities are being sacrificed in the meanwhile.”

In the mainland, the Shanghai Composite climbed 0.4% on Friday morning, trimming losses for the week so far to 4.5%. The yuan traded onshore was down 0.2% against the U.S. dollar at 6.5021.

Esprit Holdings tumbled 4.5% in Hong Kong after forecasting a loss before interest and taxation of 2.17 billion Hong Kong dollars ($276.6 million) to HK$2.27 billion for the year ending June 30.

Asia Commercial Holdings rose 1.7% after the watch retailer said it expects to report a “significant increase” in net profit for the year ended in March.

Pacific Textiles Holdings slid 4.4% after reporting a 24% drop in net profit for the year ended in March, even as revenue edged 1.7% higher to HK$6.10 billion.

Differ Group Holding climbed 6.8% to 63 Hong Kong cents. The financial services company on Thursday said it would issue 610.4 million shares at 53 Hong Kong cents apiece in a private placement, with the new stock equivalent to 12.38% of its enlarged capital.

BeijingWest Industries International advanced 4.7% after the automotive components maker said a unit had agreed to sell a 51% stake in BWI Shanghai for 132.3 million yuan ($20.3 million).

China Environmental Energy Investment fell 3.3% after saying it plans to sell a 23.53% stake in Pure Power Holdings for HK$106 million.

Intimate-wear maker Regina Miracle International climbed 3.2% after saying it expects to post a “significant increase” in consolidated net profit for the year ended in March.

- By Amy Lam;; +852 39605150
- Edited by Suzannah Benjamin
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