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Nikkei Markets

Hong Kong shares flat as investors eye trade spat and Fed meeting

Summi Group more than doubles after forecasting swing to annual profit

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Hong Kong shares were little changed on Tuesday as investors watched a slew of external risk events, including central bank policy meetings and a Sino-American tariff deadline.

The Hang Seng Index edged 0.1% lower to 26,471.58 by noon. Shenzhou International Group declined 2.9%, contributing most to the gauge's losses by points. London-headquartered lending heavyweight HSBC Holdings edged 0.4% higher. The bank on Monday announced multiple changes in senior management ranks, including a new chief risk officer.

The city's benchmark equity index ended flat on Monday as well as investors paused ahead of a Dec. 15 deadline for more U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods. The U.S. is unlikely to impose extra tariffs on $160 billion worth of Chinese goods on Sunday, Bloomberg cited U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue as saying.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy review begins Tuesday. The central bank is widely expected to stand pat at the meeting after cutting interest rates three times since July, but investors will be looking for cues on further easing next year. The European Central Bank reviews policy on Thursday, the first with Christine Lagarde as chair.

"We are seeing some risk events fermenting," said Will Leung, head of investment strategy for Hong Kong at Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong).

Leung expects trade issues to continue to cap the upside for Hong Kong shares. "Even in the most optimistic scenario of a phase one deal being signed, we don't think it means an end to the whole issue," he said.

In the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.2%. Data released on Tuesday showed China's Consumer Price Index for November jumped 4.5% from a year ago as food prices surged amid an outbreak of African swine fever that devastated pig herds and fueled demand for protein sources.

Beijing Capital Land slumped 12.3% in Hong Kong after the company announced a rights issue plan to raise 2.49 billion yuan ($353.7 million).

Great Wall Motor fell 2.8% following a 13.1% decline in November total sales.

Kong Sun Holdings slid 6%. The company on Monday said its electricity generation in the January-to-November period fell to 2.056 million megawatt hours from 2.059 megawatt hours a year ago.

Summi (Group) Holdings soared 125% after the orange juice maker said it expects to swing to a profit of at least 300 million yuan for the year ending in December, compared with a year-ago loss.

Jiangxi Copper added 2% after saying its unit agreed to buy all the shares of PIM Cupric Holdings for $1.12 billion, making it the single largest shareholder of Toronto-listed mining firm First Quantum Minerals.

-- Benny Kung

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