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Nikkei Markets

Hong Kong stocks climb for third straight day

Despite Friday's advance, benchmark Hang Seng Index ends lower for the week

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Hong Kong stocks on Friday climbed for a third straight day on hopes for a rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve, although caution over progress in Sino-American trade talks kept investors cautious.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 0.1% to 28,471.62. State-owned China Life Insurance led advancing stocks in percentage terms as it added 1.8%, while pan-Asia insurer AIA Group was the top contributor to the gauge by points, climbing 1.3%. Geely Automobile Holdings gave up 1.9% amid concerns over its profit outlook. Nearly HK$63 billion ($8.1 billion) in stocks changed hands.

Despite Friday's gains, the Hang Seng Index ended 1.1% lower for the week amid concerns about the lack of progress in Sino-American trade talks, as well as about tightened liquidity because of initial public offerings. Subscriptions for Budweiser Brewing Company APAC's billion IPO to raise up to $9.8 billion in Hong Kong closed on Thursday. At the same time, more than 20 companies are expected to list their shares on a new Nasdaq-style board in Shanghai later this month.

The Dow Jones industrials and the S&P 500 Index reached record highs overnight after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell this week signaled a reduction in borrowing costs was imminent. Concerns about U.S.-China trade dispute also lingered. U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said on Twitter that "China is letting us down" by not buying U.S. farm products.

"Investors are very cautious" and likely to reduce positions when the Hang Seng Index climbs above 29,000, said Castor Pang, head of research at Core Pacific Yamaichi International, citing lack of progress in trade talks between the two countries. "Even though the U.S. stock market reached a record high last night, it hasn't translated into a big rally for the Hong Kong stock market" as fund inflows have been "little," he added.

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite climbed 0.4% on Friday, while the yuan weakened to 6.8779 to a U.S. dollar.

Cosmetics retailer Sa Sa International slipped 1.3% after its retail and wholesale turnover for the April-June quarter fell 10.8% from a year ago. The company said "social issues" that started in the second week of June - a reference to mass protests in the city against the local government's extradition bill - and the effect of a higher sales base a year ago weighed on its sales performance.

ANTA Sports Products rose 0.3% after the Chinese sportswear company said the percentage increase in its second-quarter retail sales from a year earlier was in the "mid-teens."

Fosun Tourism Group added 2.3%. The company said it is considering a proposal made by Thomas Cook Group for a recapitalization and separation of the London-listed company. Under the proposal, Thomas Cook is targeting an injection of 750 million pounds ($939.6 million) of new money, which may comprise a capital injection and new financing facilities.

Chaowei Power Holdings gained 2.2% after the Chinese battery maker said it expects first-half net profit to show a "substantial" increase, aided by lower costs.

CMBC Capital jumped 4.1%. The financial services unit of China Minsheng Bank expects its January-June net profit to rise by at least 35%, compared with HK$100.4 million a year ago.

-- Amy Lam

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