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Hong Kong: Stocks steady despite N Korea tension as focus turns to China outlook

[HONG KONG] Hong Kong shares steadied on Tuesday following the previous session's sharp falls, as investors looked past rising tensions on the Korean peninsula and instead focused on signs of improvement in China's economy.

The Hang Seng index rose 0.1 per cent, to 27,513.01, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.5 per cent, to 10,968.39 points.

North Korea's foreign minister said on Monday that a weekend tweet by US President Donald Trump counted as a declaration of war and that Pyongyang reserved the right to take countermeasures, including shooting down US bombers even if they are not in its air space.

Investors, having coped with weeks of rising tensions on the Korean peninsula, instead focused on the outlook for China.

The Asian Development Bank maintained its 2017 and 2018 forecasts for China's growth at 6.7 per cent and 6.4 per cent. It had raised them in July.

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And on Monday, China's state planner said the growth of the country's overall leverage ratio has been clearly slowing and is now stabilising. The comments came days after S&P downgraded China's sovereign debt rating, saying government efforts to curb debt risks were not working as quickly as hoped.

Sector performance was mixed.

The property sector stabilised after Monday's slump, while the energy sector jumped nearly 3 per cent on higher oil prices.


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