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Nikkei Markets

Hong Kong shares trim weekly loss as crude prices lift oil stocks

Apple supplier AAC and utilities among worst performers over five-day period

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Hong Kong shares ended higher on Friday, trimming a weekly loss, as energy shares climbed on rising crude-oil prices.

The Hang Seng Index gained 0.3% to close at 31,047.91, narrowing its loss for the week to 0.2%. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of large mainland companies listed in the city added 0.6% on Friday, ending the week little changed.

PetroChina added 8% and CNOOC gained 4.3% over the five-day period as Brent crude-oil futures rose above $80 a barrel on Thursday for the first time since November 2014. Utilities slid amid rising fuel costs, sending Power Assets Holdings 7.8% lower and CLP Holdings down 1.9% over the week. The Hang Seng Utilities Index declined 2.1% during the week. AAC Technologies Holdings, a supplier to Apple that reported weaker-than-expected results on Monday, sank 6.8%.

In Friday's trading, PetroChina and CNOOC jumped 6.4% and 3.4%, respectively, while Power Assets added 0.4%. CLP slid 0.4% and AAC gave up 0.5%.

"The Hong Kong stock market remains a sideways market," said Jackson Wong, an analyst at Huarong International Securities, adding that he expects the gauge to test support at 30,600 in the short-term.

The week's losses reflect investor worries about China-U.S. trade frictions. Markets continue to watch developments at a second round of talks in Washington that are ongoing between officials between the two nations, weeks after a similar meeting in Beijing concluded with no significant breakthrough on contentious issues.

China on Friday denied that it had offered to reduce its trade deficit with the U.S. by up to $200 billion, according to media reports. China had offered the U.S. trade concessions and promises of increased purchases of American goods that will help trim the trade deficit by up to $200 billion a year, Reuters reported earlier, citing U.S officials familiar with the proposal.

The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.2% on Friday, while the Shenzhen Composite Index gained 0.3%.

The U.S. is taking a second look at penalties imposed on ZTE, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox Business Network on Thursday. The comments come days after U.S. President Donald Trump said he was working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to give the company a "way to get back into business, fast."

Trading in the Chinese telecommunication-equipment maker's shares remains halted in Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific Airways fell 1.2% on Friday after the airline said its passenger traffic for April declined 0.8% from a year earlier.

Hua Hong Semiconductor slid 3.2% to HK$18.12 after saying that Shanghai Alliance Investment, a major shareholder, had agreed to sell a 2.69% stake in the company through a secondary market placement at HK$17.40 per share.

Shares of fabric-maker Wang Tai Holdings jumped 8.8% to 11.1 Hong Kong cents after saying it plans to place up to 310 million shares, or 20% of the company's existing share capital, at 10 Hong Kong cents apiece.

Winfair Investment Company rose 1.5%. The company, engaged in securities trading and property development, said it expects nearly a sixfold jump in profit for the year ended March.

Melco International Development added 0.2% in Hong Kong. The company said on Friday that its U.S.-listed unit Melco Resorts & Entertainment had preliminary discussions with Premium Leisure for a potential deal whereby Premium Leisure could become an equity holder in Melco Resorts' casino unit in the Philippines.

-- Amy Lam

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