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Thursday, April 13, 2017, 16:44

Hong Kong stocks fall in subdued trade amid geopolitical worries

By Reuters

Hong Kong stocks pulled back on Thursday in thin trading as investors were reluctant to stake out positions amid simmering geopolitical tensions.

The benchmark Hang Seng index dropped 0.2 percent, to 24,261.66 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index was roughly flat at 10,204.34.

Geopolitical risks around the Korean peninsula and the Middle East checked investors' appetite for risk. South Korea said on Thursday it believed it would be consulted by the United States before any possible pre-emptive U.S. strike against Pyongyang.

Markets were also pondering U.S. President Donald Trump's comments to the Wall Street Journal that he preferred interest rates kept low.

On the data from, China reported its overall trade surplus rose in March after logging its first deficit in three years in February.

Most sectors in Hong Kong retreated at the close, with resource stocks leading the decline. An index tracking the sector lost 0.7 percent.

Interest-sensitive property stocks climbed to 6-1/2-month high and gained 0.5 percent at the close. Hong Kong's currency peg to the U.S. dollar ensures that borrowing cost closely follow that of the United States.

China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd was up around 1.9 percent on Thursday, with optimism towards the telecom operator's restructuring reform offsetting its revenue decline in 2016 from the previous year.

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