Hong Kong shares edge higher amid Fed uncertainty, China stocks fall
* HSI +0.3 pct, H-shares +0.3 pct, CSI300 -0.5 pct
* Chinese shares at to one-month lows amid tight liquidity concerns
* Trading of Kunlun Energy suspended, sources say chairman detained
By Yimou Lee
Dec 17 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares edged higher on Tuesday, with gains capped by weak China stocks, as many investors awaited a decision on bond-buying at a U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting starting later in the day.
China shares, which have fallen the past five days, slipped again as investors remained concerned about tight liquidity before the resumption of new share offerings next month.
By midday, the Hang Seng Index was up 0.3 percent at 23,184.56 points. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong also rose 0.3 percent.
The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings> fell 0.5 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.6 percent at 2,148.05 points. Both sank to one-month lows.
"Investors remain quite cautious ahead of the Fed meeting and will stay on the sideline for the next one or two days," said Ben Kwong, chief operating officer of KGI Asia, a Hong Kong brokerage.
The caution stems from waiting for the Fed to decide, at a two-day meeting, whether to start reducing its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying. The decision will be known before Asian markets open on Thursday.
"Investors are very picky nowadays and will only chase stocks that have stories or news behind them," Kwong said, adding that retail and gambling plays will continue to be top picks ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays.
The China Banking Regulatory Commission, setting the regulatory tone for the year ahead, on Tuesday called on banks to properly manage their liquidity conditions and head off shadow banking risks in 2014.
State-owned enterprises in Shanghai rose on Tuesday after China announced plans to push reforms and open up competition in state-controlled industries. Shanghai Ganglian E-Commerce Holdings Company Ltd jumped 7 percent, while Shanghai Jielong Industry Group Corp Ltd surged by the maximum 10 percent limit in Shanghai.
Macau gambling plays continued to their recent rally, with Sands China rising 2.2 percent to a record high.
Shares of Kunlun Energy were suspended on Tuesday, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange said, without providing details. Sources told Reuters that a top executive of its parent company PetroChina , who is also chairman of Kunlun, had been detained in connection with a graft probe.
Shares in Great Wall Technology Company Ltd jumped 34 percent on a privatization offer from Chinese state-owed China Electronics Corp.
- Malaysia Airlines plane missing at sea off Vietnam, presumed crashed |
- China draws 'red line' on North Korea, says won't allow war on peninsula
- Malaysian plane crashed off Vietnam coast: state media
- Fresh confrontations raise tempers on ground in Crimea |