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HK stocks at 3-week low amid fresh trade war fears

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[NEW YORK] Stocks in Hong Kong closed at their lowest level since September 12 on Friday, as a plunge in technology shares renewed concerns over the impact of US-China trade war on the sector.

The Hang Seng Index was down 0.19 per cent at 26,572.57. The index lost 4.4 per cent this week, clocking its steepest weekly fall since early February.

Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong fell 0.16 per cent to 10,530.32. China's financial markets will resume trade on Oct. 8 after a week-long National Day holiday. Traders say many participants are waiting for cues from the Mainland A-share market's movements on Monday amid the escalating trade conflict between Beijing and Washington.

Technology stocks took a hammering on Friday after a Bloomberg report claimed that China infiltrated US tech systems. The sub-index tracking the IT sector fell 1.7 per cent, while the sub-index for IT hardware was down 4.72 per cent. Lenovo led the slide, losing more than 15 per cent. ZTE, the second worst performer in the IT sub-index, fell 10.99 per cent, after a US judge said on Thursday the company violated the probation imposed on it for breaking US sanctions on Iran.

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Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.68 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei index was down 0.80 per cent. The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were ZhongAn Online P & C Insurance Co Ltd, which has fallen 3.41 per cent, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, which has lost 2.9 per cent and Shenzhou International Group Holdings Ltd, down by 2.2 per cent.

The top gainers among H-shares were China Railway Group Ltd, up 2.6 per cent, followed by China Mobile Ltd, gaining 2.51 per cent and China Telecom Corp Ltd, up by 2.33 per cent. The top gainer on Hang Seng was China Mobile Ltd, up 2.51 per cent, while the biggest loser was Link Real Estate Investment Trust, which was down 2.94 per cent.

REUTERS