Hong Kong stocks skid on weekend protests, bleak China data

Hong Kong stocks fell on Monday following clashes and protests over the weekend and as data showed China's economic slowdown deepened amid a bruising trade war with the United States.

** The Hang Seng index fell 0.8%, to 27,124.55, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.6%, to 10,628.25.

** Hong Kong police fired water cannon and volleys of tear gas to disperse protesters throwing petrol bombs at government buildings on Sunday, as months of sometimes violent demonstrations showed no sign of letting up.

** Adding to pressure was data showing the slowdown in China's economy deepened in August, with growth in industrial production at its weakest 17-1/2 years.

** Investors also parsed through latest news and comments for signs of easing in the Sino-U.S. trade dispute.

** U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he preferred a comprehensive trade deal with China but did not rule out the possibility of an interim pact, even as he said an "easy" agreement would not be possible.

** His remarks came after China and the United States made conciliatory gestures as the two sides prepare for new rounds of talks, including China's purchases of U.S. soybeans.

** Meanwhile, the Hang Seng energy index closed 3.8% higher after a surge in oil prices.

** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.18%.

** The yuan was quoted at 7.0663 per U.S. dollar at 08:14 GMT, 0.18% firmer than the previous close of 7.0788.

** The top gainers among H-shares were CNOOC Ltd, up 7.06%, followed by PetroChina Co Ltd, gaining 4.49%, and SINOPHARM GROUP CO LTD, up by 2.62%.

** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, which was down 3.68%, China Pacific Insurance Group Co Ltd, which fell 3.03%, and CITIC Securities Co Ltd, down by 3.03%.

** At close, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 28.72% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares.