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Hong Kong shares finish 1.17% lower as coronavirus curbs extended

by Zachary Neilsen (2020-05-09)

April 8 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares ended lower on Wednesday as the city's government extended social-distancing restrictions and as global investors tempered their optimism over the coronavirus pandemic amid a mounting global death toll. ** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was down 282.92 points, or 1.17%, at 23,970.37. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 1.68% to 9,681.95. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 2.3%, while the IT sector dipped 0.75%, the financial sector ended 0.95% lower and the property sector dipped 0.89%.

** Hong Kong said on Wednesday social-distancing restrictions including the closure of some bars and pubs and a ban on public gatherings of more than four people would be extended until April 23. ** Hong Kong's government will offer a relief package worth more than HK$100 billion ($12.90 billion) to help workers and businesses struggling with the COVID-19 crisis, the South China Morning Post reported. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Techtronic Industries Co Ltd, which rose 2.33%, while the biggest loser was China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd, which fell 3.37%.

** China's main Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.19% at 2,815.37 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 0.47%. ** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.86%, while Japan's Nikkei index closed up 2.13%. ** The yuan was quoted at 7.0689 per U.S. dollar at 08:20 GMT, 0.35% weaker than the previous close of 7.0445. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Fosun International Ltd up 0.33%, followed by China Minsheng Banking Corp Ltd , gaining 0.18% and Sinopharm Group Co Ltd, up by 0.11%.

** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Sunac China Holdings Ltd, which was down 4.81%, New China Life Insurance Co Ltd, which fell 4.36%, and ANTA Sports Products Ltd, down 4%. ($1 = 7.7520 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; editing by Nick Macfie) Advertisement

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