Hong Kong shares close unchanged; Fed policy in focus

Jan 11 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares closed flat on Tuesday with gains in Wuxi Biologics and Tencent offset by losses in Alibaba and AIA Group, while investors kept an eye out for clues from the U.S. Federal Reserve about the timing of expected policy tightening.

** The Hang Seng index was unchanged at 23,739.06, while the China Enterprises index was unchanged at 8,369.01 points.

** “Hong Kong’s equity market can still get worse before it gets better unless we see major changes in the current policy risk factors,” Natixis analysts said in a note.

** Some of Wall Street’s biggest banks now expect four U.S. interest rate increases this year starting in March, a more aggressive call than a week ago.

** In comments prepared for delivery at a congressional hearing later in the day, Fed Chair Jerome Powell pledged “to prevent higher inflation from becoming entrenched”.

** The Hang Seng Tech index edged lower 0.1%, with Alibaba Group down 1.6%, while Tencent Holdings and Meituan finished up 1.5% and 0.7%, respectively

** Wuxi Biologics jumped 6% to become the biggest percentage gainer on the Hang Seng index, after a filing showed JPMorgan Chase & Co’s long position in the pharmaceutical firm had risen to 5%.

** The Hang Seng healthcare sub-index gained 1.9%. CanSino Biologics Inc fell 5.5% on a share sale report.

** AIA Group finished down 1.8%. The insurer and Alibaba were the two biggest constituents weighing down the Hang Seng index.

** Property developer Shimao Group Holdings added 0.5% after it denied a report that it had entered into a preliminary agreement to sell a Shanghai plaza, but said it was in talks with potential buyers to sell some properties.

** Mainland real estate developers listed in Hong Kong rose 1.5%. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)