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Thursday, November 3, 2016, 16:53

Shares end on 2-1/2 month low as US election worry weighs

By Reuters

SHANGHAI - Hong Kong stocks closed at a 2-1/2-month low on Thursday, as worries over the tightening US presidential election race outweighed optimism generated by an upbeat mainland service sector survey.

The Hang Seng index fell 0.6 percent to 22,683.51 points, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.4 percent to 9,482.01.

Hang Seng's close is the lowest since Aug. 11, though the index drew brief support from a private survey showing growth in mainland's services sector accelerated in October.

All main sectors fell, with energy and technology shares leading the decline.

Traders said the US election represents the biggest risk to investors and suppressed risk appetite, driving money flows into perceived safe haven assets like gold.

Polls in the past week have led markets to price in more risk that Repcublican Donald Trump might defeat his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Charles Wang, Chairman of Shenzhen-based Appleridge Capital Management Co, said he expects the Hong Kong market to draw support from mainland investors once the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect scheme is launched.

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