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Friday, November 4, 2016, 16:40

Shares touch 2-1/2-month low on US election jitters

By Reuters

SHANGHAI - Hong Kong stocks closed at a 2-1/2-month low on Friday, as worries over the upcoming US presidential election continued to keep investors on edge.

The Hang Seng index fell 0.2 percent, to 22,642.62, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.1 percent, to 9,491.51 points.

The indexes lost 1.4 percent for the week - their second consecutive weekly decline - reflecting a bearish spillover from global financial markets with the US benchmark S&P 500's falling for eight straight sessions in its longest losing streak since the 2008 financial crisis.

Underscoring deepening investor anxiety in Hong Kong, the HSI Volatility Index, a gauge of market stress, shot up to its highest level since the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote in early July.

Most sectors in Hong Kong fell, with materials and consumer sectors leading the decline.

Risk appetites remained subdued as the US election day next Tuesday nears. Investors view Democrat Hillary Clinton as a candidate who will largely maintain the status quo, while a Donald Trump presidency will probably raise uncertainties for US foreign policy, international trade deals and the domestic economy.

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