HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Hong Kong shares fell for a second consecutive day on Wednesday, as investors awaited details from a formal Sino-American trade deal expected to be signed later in the day.
The Hang Seng Index declined 0.4% to 28,773.59. The index ended 0.2% lower on Tuesday after climbing above 29,000 for the first time since July. Among heavyweights, internet services heavyweight Tencent Holdings declined 0.4%, while Ping An Insurance Group dropped 1.4%.
Market sentiment in recent days has been supported by expectations that the U.S. and China will sign a preliminary trade agreement later Wednesday, a move that will involve the rollback of some existing U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods in exchange for a pledge by Beijing to buy more American products. The two sides are also expected to begin negotiations for a phase two agreement in due course.
Other existing tariffs on Chinese goods will likely remain in place until after the U.S. presidential election in November, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Any reductions will depend on Beijing's compliance with terms in the phase one deal, the report added. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said existing tariffs could stay in place until a phase two agreement is signed.
People already expect phase two negotiations to be more difficult, said Alvin Ngan, an analyst at Zhongtai International Securities. "The drop so far is just because of investors pocketing profits."
In the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index slid 0.5%, while the yuan traded onshore was little changed against the dollar to 6.8861.
Chinese securities broker Guotai Junan International Holdings slid 4% to HK$1.43 after saying it plans to sell up to 2.59 billion rights shares in the ratio of one for every three held at HK$1.45 each.
Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group declined 1.1%. The company plans to close up to 15 stores in Hong Kong from among the points of sale whose leases are due to expire in the financial year ending March 2021, a company spokesman said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, shares of three companies began trading in Hong Kong on Wednesday. Those of Chinese restaurant operator Jiumaojiu International Holdings jumped 56.4% after the company raised 2.2 billion Hong Kong dollars ($282.9 million) in gross proceeds from an initial public offering.
Shares of Singapore-based contractor CTR Holdings tumbled 29.2%, while Beijing Enterprises Urban Resources Group ended unchanged.
-- Benny Kung