* Hang Seng index ends down 2.06%
* China Enterprises index HSCE falls 1.6%
Fresh Sino-U.S. tensions exacerbate investor worries
* Financials end 1.9% lower; tech slumps 3.57%
Oct 15 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares slumped on Thursday as
investor sentiment took a blow from escalating Sino-U.S.
tensions, a surge in global COVID-19 cases and the impasse over
a U.S. stimulus package to boost the world's largest economy.
** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was down
508.55 points or 2.06% at 24,158.54. The Hang Seng China
Enterprises index fell 1.6% to 9,762.28.
** Sentiment took a hit with tech shares leading the decline.
Alibaba Group Holding slumped 4.30% after Reuters
reported that the Trump administration is considering adding
Alibaba-backed Ant Group to a trade blacklist before the
financial technology firm is set for a huge dual listing in
Shanghai and Hong Kong.
** China said on Thursday that the United States was abusing the
concept of national security to oppress foreign companies
following the blacklisting report.
** Victor Huang, head of investment strategy at Guotai Junan
International in Hong Kong, said the report had prompted a
sell-off, but that valuations were already stretched.
** He said global institutional investors were also adopting
more conservative stances ahead of U.S. elections in November to
guard against volatility after booking strong profits this year,
while an elusive U.S. stimulus package meant a dearth of excess
liquidity to boost valuations further.
** U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Wednesday that a
coronavirus economic relief package would be hard to reach
before the Nov. 3 elections.
** The Hang Seng tech sub-index dropped 3.57%, with
index heavyweight Tencent Holdings losing 3.75%.
** A financials sub-index also dropped 1.86% after the
U.S. State Department on Wednesday warned international
financial institutions doing business with individuals deemed
responsible for China's crackdown in Hong Kong that they could
soon face tough sanctions.
** In China, soft September inflation data underscored the
challenges still faced by China's economy.
(Reporting by Andrew Galbraith, Editing by Sherry