HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Hong Kong shares edged lower on Wednesday as investors appeared to take profits in technology stocks, while Chinese companies listed in the city remained under pressure amid rising borrowing costs in the mainland.
By the noon break, the Hang Seng Index had fallen 0.4% to 29,574.82. Tencent Holdings shed 1.4%, heading for its fifth decline in six days. The index heavyweight's shares have more than doubled this year on upbeat earnings and outlook for its mobile games. Apple-supplier AAC Technologies Holdings lost 1.7% to lead losses on the gauge after a 4.3% jump on Tuesday. Ping An Insurance Group fell 1.2%.
China Petroleum & Chemical (Sinopec) and PetroChina fell 0.9% and 0.6%, respectively, as U.S. crude prices headed lower for a third consecutive day amid uncertainty about the outcome of an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting this week.
Hong Kong's main gauge, which has risen 34.4% so far this year, has struggled to stay above 30,000 as Chinese companies listed in the city weakened on concern over elevated funding costs in the mainland.
"The market is weak as most fund managers and investors would like to lock their position when it comes to the year-end," said Andrew Wong, chairman of financial-services company Anli Holdings. "Moreover, there is great possibility that the Fed will increase its interest rate in December, so investors are waiting to see how it will impact capital flow."
He expects the Hang Seng Index to hover around 30,000 in December.
A ballistic missile test by North Korea early Wednesday sparked some caution in regional markets. The Nikkei Asia300 Index was down 0.2% despite a record-setting session on Wall Street overnight after a U.S. Senate panel approved a corporate tax-cut bill.
Meanwhile, U.S. Federal Reserve chair nominee Jerome Powell on Tuesday told the Senate Banking Committee that the case for raising interest rates at the central bank's next meeting is "coming together."
In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.5%, while its Shenzhen counterpart shed 0.8%.
Personal-computer maker Lenovo Group was unchanged at HK$4.44 in Hong Kong after agreeing to sell its 100% stake in a unit that owns real-estate assets in China to mainland property developer China New Town Development for 300 million yuan ($45 million). China New Town rose 1.4%.
Link Real Estate Investment Trust advanced 0.7% after agreeing to sell a property portfolio to a consortium led by private-equity fund-management company GAW Capital Partners for 23 billion Hong Kong dollars ($2.95 billion).
New Provenance Everlasting Holdings jumped 7.4%. The metals and minerals company reported on Tuesday a net profit of HK$77.5 million for the six months ended Sept. 30, following a loss in the year-earlier period. Revenue nearly doubled to HK$1.02 billion.
Chu Kong Petroleum and Natural Gas climbed 3.2% after entering an agreement to supply steel pipes to Malaysian state energy company Petroliam Nasional, or Petronas.
-- Carrie Chen