* HSI +0.2 pct, HSCE +0.4 pct

* China’s fixed-asset investment rises, beats estimates

* Country’s industrial output growth at 17-year low

HONG KONG, March 14 (Reuters) – Hong Kong stocks edged higher on Thursday after China reported stronger-than-expected investment in its slowing economy, but a weaker industrial output growth limited the gains. ** The Hang Seng index ended 0.2 percent higher at 28,851.39 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.4 percent. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 1.7 percent, while the IT sector dipped 0.8 percent, the financial sector ended 0.1 percent higher and the property sector lost 0.3 percent.’ ** China’s industrial output rose 5.3 percent in the first two months of the year, the National Bureau of Statistics said, less than expected and the slowest pace since early 2002. However, investment picked up speed as the government fast-tracked more road and rail projects, and more monetary policy support is expected this year. ** U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he was in no rush to complete a trade pact with China, including protection for intellectual property, a major sticking point between the two sides during months of negotiations. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed down 1.2 percent at 2,990.69 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 0.7 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.1 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed pretty much flat. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was CNOOC Ltd, which gained 3.8 percent, while the biggest loser was Sunny Optical Technology Group Co Ltd, which fell 3.3 percent. ** The top gainers among H-shares were China Gas Holdings Ltd , Air China Ltd and CNOOC Ltd, all up by 3.8 percent. ** About 1.43 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded. The volume traded in the previous session was 1.22 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 22.08 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The short and one-factor leveraged Hang Seng index, which is designed to replicate the pay-off of a short or leveraged portfolio and is linked to the movements of the Hang Seng Index, was 0.15 percent lower on the day at 4,768.92 points. (Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)


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