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Asia, News

HK shares end lower as Sino-U.S. tensions, economic worries weigh

* Hang Seng index ends down 0.69%

* China Enterprises index HSCE falls 0.53%

* HSI financial sector down 0.6%; property sector down 0.5%

Aug 6 (Reuters) – Hong Kong shares ended lower on Thursday as Sino-U.S. tensions added to the existing woes about economic fallout, with U.S. Fed policymakers saying a rise in COVID-19 cases in the United States is slowing recovery in the world’s largest economy.

** U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration said on Wednesday it was stepping up efforts to purge “untrusted” Chinese apps from U.S. digital networks and called the Chinese-owned short-video app TikTok and messenger app WeChat “significant threats”. ** The news pulled index heavyweight Tencent Holdings, WeChat’s developer, down 0.98%, weighing on the broader index.

** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was down 171.96 points or 0.69% at 24,930.58. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 0.53% to 10,202.41. ** The latest rise in tensions between Washington and Beijing comes alongside new signs of economic weakness in the United States. ** Data released Wednesday showed an apparent slowdown in the recovery of the U.S. job market in July as private employers hired far fewer workers than expected. ** A resurgence in coronavirus cases is slowing the economic recovery, and the pandemic will continue to weigh on the U.S. economy and American life for longer than initially expected, three Federal Reserve policymakers said on Wednesday. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.26% at 3,386.46 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 0.3%. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.37%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.43%. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.9491 per U.S. dollar at 0814 GMT, 0.2% weaker than the previous close of 6.935.

(Reporting by Andrew Galbraith, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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