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Hong Kong shares fall as tensions between Washington…

Aug 10 – Hong Kong shares ended lower on Monday, weighed down by rising tensions between Beijing and Washington and uncertainty over a possible U.S. stimulus package, even as new data supported hopes of a recovery in China. ** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was down 154.19 points or 0.63% at 24,377.43. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 0.72% to 9,990.67. ** Worsening tensions between the United States and China continued to drag down market sentiment after Beijing’s top representative office in Hong Kong denounced sanctions imposed by Washington on senior Hong Kong and Chinese officials. ** Shares in index heavyweight Tencent Holdings Ltd dropped 4.83% on Monday. The company’s shares have fallen more than 10.5% since Wednesday, with the rout deepening after U.S. President Donald Trump signed executive orders banning Chinese social media platforms WeChat – owned by Tencent – and TikTok starting next month. ** “The restrictions’ focus has been WeChat, but what investors worry about is that it could spread to other businesses,” said Steven Leung, executive director for institutional sales at UOB Kay Hian. ** Chinese air force jets briefly crossed the mid-line of the Taiwan Strait on Monday and were tracked by Taiwanese missiles, Taiwan’s government said, as U.S. health chief Alex Azar visited the island to offer President Donald Trump’s strong support. ** But adding to signs of an economic recovery, China’s factory deflation eased in July, driven by a rise in global oil prices, and industrial activity climbed back towards pre-coronavirus levels. ** Shares in media group Next Digital surged to close 183% higher, after falling 17% in the morning on the arrest of its chairman, Jimmy Lai, under Hong Kong’s national security law. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.75% at 3,379.25 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 0.36%. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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