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Hong Kong shares flat on US rate caution as techs rebound

Tencent, AAC Technologies gain, while Geely and energy producers drop

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Hong Kong stocks were little changed by midday on Thursday, as renewed focus on interest rates in the U.S. helped counter a rebound for technology stocks.

The Hang Seng Index was at 28,226.37 by the noon break, after rising as much as 0.9% earlier in the morning session. Geely Automobile Holdings extended the previous day's 8.4% plunge to slide an additional 3.8%, despite a 38% increase in November sales to a record monthly high. The stock has more than tripled this year. Energy producers PetroChina and CNOOC fell 1% and 0.8%, respectively, after U.S. crude prices tumbled 2.9% overnight.

Social-media major Tencent Holdings climbed 1.5% after two days of losses, while Apple supplier AAC Technologies Holdings advanced 1.2% following a six-day losing streak.

The gains came in the wake of a rebound for the Nasdaq Composite, even as the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average marginally weakened overnight. All three gauges remain within striking distance of recent record highs amid hopes surrounding U.S. President Donald Trump's proposed corporate tax cuts. Markets are also paying more attention to the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy review next week, when the central bank is widely expected to raise borrowing costs -- a move that might influence flows into emerging markets.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index had edged 0.2% lower by midday on Thursday.

Andy Wong, an investment strategist with wealth-management company Harris Fraser (International) in Hong Kong, said there were some outflows from emerging markets "on anticipation that the Fed will raise rates next week."

There were also "fears that U.S. tax cuts will draw money back into the states from other countries," he added.

In the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.6% as it headed for a fourth day lower, while the Shenzhen Composite Index dropped 0.3%. The yield on China's 10-year government bond rose to 3.91%, poised for its first advance in 10 days.

Great Wall Motor slipped 2.8% in Hong Kong after reporting a 1.5% increase in November auto sales.

Datang International Power Generation slumped 11.7%. The company said it conditionally agreed to acquire three power utilities from controlling shareholder China Datang Corp. for 18.13 billion yuan ($2.74 billion).

Chinese conglomerate HNA Group's Shanghai-listed airline Hainan Airlines Holding has canceled a planned bond sale of 1 billion yuan, Bloomberg reported. HNA Holding Group fell 2.9% in Hong Kong, while Hainan Airlines added 0.6% in Shanghai.

Sino Haijing Holdings rose 1.1% after signing a memorandum of understanding to acquire an 80% stake in Sou Ching Port Investment, a tourism port investor in Cambodia, for about $50 million.

CITIC Securities, a unit of conglomerate CITIC, fell 0.5%. The brokerage company late Wednesday reported a 13.3% increase in November net profit at 685.4 million yuan.

Gaming-hardware maker Razer slid 4.6% in Hong Kong after saying an over-allotment option for its initial public offering in Hong Kong was fully exercised following its listing last month. The San Francisco-headquartered company, which raised 4.13 billion Hong Kong dollars ($529 million) from an IPO of 1.06 billion shares, will receive additional net proceeds of about HK$608.1 million from the over-allotment issue.

-- Amy Lam

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