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Hong Kong Stocks near 14-month lows on simmering trade worries
(10:19, 12 Sep 2018)
Headline indices of the Hong Kong share market declined to hit 14-month lows on Wednesday, 12 September 2018, as trade tensions rose following a report that China is seeking permission from the World Trade Organization to impose sanctions against the U.S., separate from the tariff battle between the world's largest economic powers. In afternoon trade, the Hang Seng Index was down 104.66 points or 0.4% to 26,317.89. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index fell 98.52 points or 0.95% to 10,234.64. The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking the Commerce & Industry sector fell 0.8% and the financial sector was 0.4% down, while properties sector added 0.02% and Utilities sector rose 1.2%.

The Hang Seng Index's entered into a bear market, extending its loss since a January peak to over 20%, as the worsening US-China trade dispute prompted investors to pull out of riskier assets. The escalating trade war between China and the US, a decrease in buying by mainland Chinese investors and recent economic woes in such developing economies as Turkey and Indonesia are among factors that have unnerved investors.

Investor confidence was chilled by the latest round of verbal threats in an intensifying US-China trade conflict. China told the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Tuesday it wanted to impose $7 billion a year in sanctions on the United States in retaliation for Washington's non-compliance with a ruling in a dispute over U.S. dumping duties. Separately, US President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday that the United States was taking a tough stance with China.

This comes after President Donald Trump said late last week that he was ready to go on tariffs targeting another $267 billion on Chinese goods if he wants. That would follow planned charges on $200 billion of Chinese goods in several industries, including technology. Beijing has vowed to retaliate if Washington takes any new steps on trade.

NEWS FROM THE PRESS/BROKERAGE HOUSES: HSBC lifts CNOOC to HK$17.39— HSBC Global Research lifted its target price for CNOOC (00883) to HK$17.39 from HK$17.19, and maintained its buy rating. The research house said CNOOC management guided for higher production over 2018-20, between 470 and 500mboe. These rising targets are consistent with a rising oil price outlook. HSBC believes CNOOC is well positioned to meet its mid-term output targets. The company's RMB70-80bn 2018 capex budget can be funded with internal cash flow, with sufficient room for a 4-5% dividend yield.

DB lowers Wynn Macau to HK$22 -- Deutsche Bank lowered its target price for Wynn Macau (01128) to HK$22 from HK$31, and maintained its buy rating. The research house thinks Macau is at the start of a downward earnings revision cycle. It cut Macau 2019 GGR growth from 11% to 4% (VIP 2%, Mass 6%), resulting in industry EBITDA growth of only 5%.

China Res Power net generation down 1.6% in August -- China Resources Power (00836) said its total net generation of subsidiary power plants in August dropped 1.6% year-on-year to 14.68 million MWh. Total net generation of subsidiary power plants for the first eight months of 2018 grew 2.9% year-on-year to 107.1 million MWh.

OFFSHORE MARKET NEWS, US stock market closed higher on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 113.99 points or 0.4% to 25,971.06, the Nasdaq climbed 48.31 points or 0.6% to 7,972.47 and the S&P 500 advanced 10.76 points or 0.4% to 2,887.89.

The major European stock markets ended mixed on Tuesday. The French CAC 40 Index climbed by 0.3%, the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index both edged down by 0.1%.

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