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Asia, News

Hong Kong stocks end week higher as virus deaths fall

* Hang Seng, H-shares both add 0.3%

* Deaths in epidemic’s epicentre moderate after record jump

* Track the coronavirus here: https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7

HONG KONG, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Hong Kong stocks edged up on Friday, as the daily death and infection tolls in the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak returned to lower levels, following a dramatic spike the previous day. ** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 0.3% at 27,815.60, up 1.5% week-on-week. The index also rose last week. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.3%. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 0.1%, the IT sector dipped 0.8%, the financial sector ended 0.5% higher and the property sector gained 1%. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Techtronic Industries Co Ltd, which gained 2.5%, while the biggest loser was AAC Technologies Holdings Inc, which fell 2.6%. ** The daily death toll in Hubei, the Chinese province at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak, halved and the number of new cases dropped from a record posted the day before.

** But with the number of new cases at over 5,000 on Friday, the epidemic showed no signs of peaking. Passengers on a cruise ship blocked from five countries due to virus fears finally disembarked in Cambodia. ** The Chinese economy will grow at its slowest rate since the financial crisis in the current quarter, according to a Reuters poll of economists who said the downturn will be short-lived if the outbreak is contained.

** China’s main Shanghai Composite index and the blue-chip CSI300 index marked the first weekly gain in four as new infections slowed in Hubei province.. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.2%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.6%. ** About 1.45 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.62 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 23.73% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Noah Sin; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)


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