HK stocks end lower as consumer discretionary, tech shares weigh

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HONG KONG — Hong Kong shares closed lower on Wednesday, as consumer discretionary and technology stocks retreated ahead of the reopening of China markets, outweighing gains from banks and energy sectors.

** The Hang Seng index ended down 139.16 points or 0.49% at 28,417.98. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 0.41% to 10,721.87.

** Hong Kong tech index fell 2.13% to its lowest close in three weeks, tracking a 1.9% drop in the Nasdaq on Tuesday.

** Tencent, the most actively traded by turnover, fell 1.9%. Meituan slid 1.6% and Alibaba Group dropped 2.3%.

** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 1.1%, while the IT sector dipped 1.85%. The financial sector gained 0.35% and the property sector climbed 0.23%

** Oil prices rose for a third day on Wednesday after industry data indicated U.S. crude inventories fell much more than expected last week, reinforcing bullish views on fuel demand in the world’s largest economy.

** Brokers said investors were willing to hunt for bargain ahead of the reopening of China markets on Thursday.

** Chinese financial and futures markets are closed from May 1 to 5 for the Labour Day holidays.

** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Hang Seng Bank Ltd , which rose 3.42%, while the biggest loser was Haidilao International Holding Ltd, which fell 6.07%.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.34%.

** The top gainers among H-shares were Bank of Communications Co Ltd up 3.26%, followed by China Merchants Bank Co Ltd, gaining 2.5% and Postal Savings Bank of China Co Ltd, up by 2.35%.

** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Haidilao, Hansoh Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd, which fell 4.6% and Baidu Inc, down by 3.53%. (Reporting by Donny Kwok; editing by Uttaresh.V)