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HONG KONG: Shares in China's big three state-owned telecom companies slid in Hong Kong Monday during the first day of trading since the New York Stock Exchange announced it was delisting the firms.

Friday's move by the NYSE seeks to comply with an order by outgoing US President Donald Trump barring investment in firms with ties to the Chinese military.

As trading began in Hong Kong, China Mobile Communications, China Telecommunications Corp and China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited all dipped more than three percent.

Shares in China's state-owned oil giants were also down on fears they could be the next to be delisted in the United States.

CNOOC Ltd was trading down 3.06 percent while PetroChina dipped more than two percent. The delisting comes as relations between the world's two biggest economies spiral downwards over sore points ranging from trade and the coronavirus to Hong Kong and the mass incarceration of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.

In November, Trump signed an executive order banning Americans from investing in Chinese companies deemed to be supplying or supporting Beijing's military and security apparatus, earning a sharp rebuke from China.

China's telecom giants are thinly traded in the US and make the vast majority of profits at home, meaning the delisting was little more than symbolic. Citigroup said the expulsion from New York might encourage "short term selling pressure" but would have little long term impact.

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