HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Hong Kong shares ended little changed on Wednesday, as investors paused after Sino-American trade deal hopes lifted the city's main equity benchmark to three-month highs.
The Hang Seng Index edged 0.02% higher to 27,688.64 after rising 3.8% over the past four days. The gauge fell as low as 27,547.77 earlier on Wednesday, and changed directions at least nine times during the day.
Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing added 0.4% even as the bourse operator reported 1% decline in profit for the January-to-September period. Revenue for the nine-month period rose 2% from a year ago.
Among other gainers, financial heavyweights AIA Group and HSBC Holdings climbed 0.5% and 0.4%, respectively. China Mengniu Dairy slid 5.9% after rising 4.5% in a four-day winning streak through Tuesday.
U.S. equity indexes ended mixed overnight after scaling record highs earlier this week. Hopes for a resolution to the protracted trade war between the U.S. and China have lingered recently. The two nations are widely expected to sign a preliminary agreement as early as this month, and reports suggest both sides are also considering rolling back some punitive tariffs on goods imported from each other.
"Sentiment has improved. Even though the Hang Seng Index dropped a bit, it is standing firm," said Kevin Leung, executive director for investment strategy at Haitong International Securities. With prospects for Sino-American trade talks not appearing to have worsened, global monetary easing and political unrest in Hong Kong neither deteriorating nor improving, the overall sentiment is better, he said.
In the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.4%. The yuan traded onshore rose 0.1% against the U.S. dollar to 6.9989.
CK Life Sciences Int'l (Holdings) surged 153.5% in Hong Kong after saying its unit will present clinical data from its ongoing phase III study for seviprotimut-L, an investigational melanoma vaccine candidate, at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer's annual meeting in the U.S.
Ping An Healthcare and Technology jumped 7% after the online medical services company said its unit has agreed to buy a 20% stake in Shanghai Hydee Software for 131 million yuan ($18.7 million).
Sing Tao News rose 4.2% after saying Chairman Charles Ho, who has a 48.98% interest in the company, is in preliminary talks with an independent potential purchaser regarding a possible sale of a stake.
Edvantage Group Holdings climbed 8.8% after the Chinese higher education provider reported a 34% year-on-year increase in net profit for the year ended Aug. 31.
Liquid-crystal-display panel maker Truly International Holdings added 0.9% following a 12.7% increase in group turnover for October.
-- Benny Kung