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Hong Kong: Stocks post first monthly loss this year

[HONG KONG] Hong Kong stocks ended higher on Friday, but the benchmark index posted its first monthly loss this year, an indication the market's upward momentum may be slowing amid worries over US monetary tightening and a China economic slowdown.

Investors are also awaiting China's 19th Communist Party Congress next month, and the country's third-quarter economic data.

The Hang Seng index rose 0.5 per cent, to 27,554.30, but posted a 1.5 per cent loss for September - its first monthly loss in 2017 - reducing this year's gain so far to 25 per cent.

The China Enterprises Index gained 0.3 per cent to 10,910.04 points. For the month, it was up 0.2 per cent, and for the quarter, the gauge gained 8.6 per cent.

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Investors will be keenly watching China's upcoming Communist Party Congress, which starts on Oct 18, a once-every-five-years meeting where new leaders are appointed and the government's key political and economic initiatives are laid out, though details are usually not announced until much later.

Investors will also be looking for any indication from upcoming data releases on whether China's strong recovery that started late last year is running out steam.

They also weigh the impact of US Federal Reserve's plan to shrink its balance sheet and raise interest rates later this year.

Stock performance in the property sector was mixed. Property and resources shares rose but the telecom sector dipped.

REUTERS