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Hong Kong: Stocks flat, investors ponder China MSCI inclusion

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[SHANGHAI] Hong Kong stocks were little changed on Thursday, as investors pondered the potential impact of MSCI's decision to include more mainland China stocks in a key benchmark index.

The Hang Seng index fell 0.1 per cent, to 25,674.53 points, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.1 per cent, to 10,402.76 points.

The US index provider said on Tuesday it would add 222 China-listed stocks to its Emerging Markets Index (EMI), tracked by around US$1.6 trillion, with the inclusion process starting in June 2018.

Some fear the decision could threaten Hong Kong's role as a key global investor gateway to China.

The index measuring price differences between dual-listed companies in Shanghai and Hong Kong hit a six-month high before ending up 0.8 per cent at 125.05.

A value above 100 indicates Shanghai shares are pricing at a premium to shares in the same company trading in Hong Kong, and vice versa.

Sector performance was mixed. Gains were led by utilities stocks, while materials shares dragged behind.

Energy shares dipped as oil prices hit a 10-month low overnight on concerns over a supply glut and falling demand.