Hong Kong stocks ended with slight losses on Thursday as profit-taking from a recent rally offset hopes for the China-US trade war after the two sides said they would delay some tariffs ahead of next month’s talks.

The Hang Seng Index dropped 0.3 percent, to 27,087.

Shares Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing sank 3.5 percent after its shock bid of almost US$40 billion for the London Stock Exchange Group.

Reports said the proposal is likely to fail, however, as it is dependent on the LSEG scrapping a planned US$27 billion takeover of US financial data provider Refinitiv, which the three-centuries-old exchange said it “remains committed” to buying.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.8 percent, to 3,031and the Shenzhen Composite Index rose 0.6 percent, to 1,681.

Tokyo ended 0.8 percent higher while Sydney climbed 0.3 percent. Mumbai and Taipei also rose, but there were also losses in Singapore, Wellington, Jakarta and Manila.

The more conciliatory tone from both China and the US – after months of rancour – fuelled hopes they can edge towards a solution to their long-running trade war, which has jolted the global economy and stock markets.

The delay “shows Trump doesn’t want to increase tariffs before the trade talks in early October and it creates good conditions”, said Tommy Xie, an economist at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp.

“It adds to the hope that there’ll be good news from the October meeting, and markets will wait and see.” (AFP)