July 27 – Hong Kong shares fell on Monday, extending losses from the previous session on rising Sino-U.S. tensions, and as a jump in COVID-19 cases in the city weighed on investor sentiment.
** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was down 102.07 points, or 0.41%, at 24,603.26. The index had dropped 2.2% on Friday after China ordered the closure of the U.S. consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu. ** The U.S. mission was shut after Washington ordered China’s consulate in Houston, Texas to close. China said on Monday that it had taken over the premises of the Chengdu U.S. consulate. ** Hong Kong announced further restrictions to curb a surge in locally transmitted coronavirus cases, including a ban on gatherings of more than two people, a total bar on restaurant dining and mandatory face masks in all public places, including outdoors.
** Helping H-shares cut losses, data showed Chinese industrial firms’ profits rose for a second straight month in June and at the fastest pace in more than a year, adding to signs that an economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis is gaining momentum, though officials warned of continued uncertainty. ** The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 0.05% to 10,075.45. ** The Hang Seng TECH index, which debuted on Monday and tracks the 30 largest technology companies listed in Hong Kong, fell 1.28%. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 0.1%, while the IT sector dipped 1.57%, the financial sector ended 0.22% lower and the property sector dipped 0.96%. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.68%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.16%. ** The yuan was quoted at 7.0011 per U.S. dollar at 0819 GMT, 0.23% firmer than the previous close of 7.017. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)