January 3, 2019 / 8:47 AM / a year ago

Hong Kong stocks slip on Apple trouble, flat A-shares

* HSI -0.3 pct, HSCE flat; IT hardware makers lead losses

* Apple Inc suppliers decline after company cuts forecast

* Chinese stocks lacklustre as economic concerns persist

HONG KONG, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks eased on Thursday after a rare revenue warning from Apple Inc spooked technology and hardware shares, and as investors found little support from the performance of Chinese equities. ** The Hang Seng index edged down 0.3 percent to 25,064.36, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises index closed flat. ** The struggling market mostly followed trading in mainland China, where the Shanghai Composite index ended flat but the blue-chip CSI300 index and most of its sub-indexes fell. ** The sub-index tracking energy shares rose 1.2 percent, the financial sector ended 0.5 percent lower, while property stocks rose 0.91 percent. ** Shares of I.T. hardware makers led the losses with a 1.6 percent drop. Information Technology stocks also slid 0.9 percent. ** Apple Inc made a rare cut to its quarterly sales forecast on Wednesday, and, for the first time since the iPhone was launched in 2007, issued a warning on its revenue guidance ahead of releasing quarterly results. ** Shares of Apple suppliers across the Mainland China and Taiwan markets also came under pressure. ** While the Apple forecast cut was "mostly hurting stocks involved with the mobile phone business, this was bad for sentiments across the market," said Linus Yip, chief strategist at First Shanghai Securities in Hong Kong. ** Worries over the Chinese economy continued to hang over the local market, after China reported its first factory activity contraction in over two years in December this week. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Want Want China Holdings Ltd, up 5.5 percent, while the biggest loser was Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, which fell 8.2 percent. Geely hit a 19-month low after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock and trimmed the target price. ** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.5 percent, while Japan's Nikkei index closed down 0.3 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.8720 per U.S. dollar at 08:28 GMT, 0.15 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.8620. ** The top gainers among H-shares were PetroChina Co Ltd , up 2.8 percent, China Resources Land Ltd, up 2.7 percent, and CITIC Ltd, up by 2.6 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd, which was down 5.8 percent, Byd Co Ltd, which fell 3.6 percent, and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, down 3.4 percent. ** At close, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 19.18 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The short and one-factor leveraged Hang Seng index, which is designed to replicate the payoff of a short or leveraged portfolio and is linked to the movements of the Hang Seng Index, was higher by 0.27 percent on the day at 5,524.01 points. (Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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