SHANGHAI: Hong Kong shares closed higher on Tuesday as investors awaited an expected U.S. interest rate cut this week, while Sino-U.S. trade negotiations are due to begin later in the day.
** The Hang Seng index rose 0.1%, to 28,146.50 points, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.4%, to 10,818.35.
** The U.S. Federal Reserve is scheduled to begin a two-day policy meeting later on Tuesday, at which it is widely expected to lower interest rates by 25 basis points. If implemented, it would be the central bank's first rate cut in a decade.
** Also in focus were U.S.-China trade talks due to begin in Shanghai on Tuesday, although expectations for progress during the two-day meeting are low with the markets hoping the two sides can at least detail commitments for “goodwill" gestures.
** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.19%, while Japan's Nikkei index closed up 0.43%.
** The yuan was quoted at 6.8843 per U.S. dollar at 08:15 GMT, 0.12% firmer than the previous close of 6.8926.
** The top gainers among H-shares were New China Life Insurance Co Ltd up 2.73%, followed by China Pacific Insurance Group Co Ltd, gaining 2.55% and PICC Property and Casualty Co Ltd, up by 2.22%.
** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were SINOPHARM GROUP CO LTD, which was down 1.68%, Guangdong Investment Ltd, which fell 1.32% and Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd, down by 1.1%.
** About 1.18 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 88.7% of the market's 30-day moving average of 1.33 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.61 billion.
** At close, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 29.69% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares.