SHANGHAI: Mainland China and Hong Kong stocks ended lower on Wednesday, ahead of the outcome of the US Federal Reserve’s policy meeting later in the day.
The Fed’s announcement is due at 1800 GMT and the US central bank is widely anticipated to raise interest rates by another 75 basis points to combat inflation. Investors are also eyeing any further comments on monetary tightening.
The Shanghai Composite index ended down 0.05% at 3,275.76 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.49% to 4,225.04 points.
The financial sub-index dropped 0.55%, the consumer staples sector lost 1.3%, and the healthcare sub-index dropped 1.6%.
The smaller Shenzhen index inched up 0.33%, the start-up board ChiNext Composite index climbed 0.03%, and Shanghai’s tech-focused STAR50 index gained 1.02%.
One of the top losers was the liquor sector, after Sichuan Swellfun Co Ltd said net profit in the first six months dropped 2% from a year earlier. An index tracking the sector ended down 1.87%, with top liquor maker Kweichow Moutai falling 1.57% to 1919.6 yuan ($284.06). In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 1.13% to 20,670.04, while Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong dropped 1.3% to 7,091.47.
“Beyond the Fed’s decision, global outlook and sentiments likely will remain suppressed by US and euro zone growth worries and financial stability risks in China,” said strategists at DBS in a note.
In China, investors continued to be worried about the property sector, after Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd said on Wednesday it planned to raise HK$2.83 billion from a share sale, raising proceeds for refinancing offshore debt, general working capital and future development purposes.
The real estate index fell 0.44%, while mainland developers listed in Hong Kong plunged 6.22%.
Separately, US President Joe Biden and China’s leader Xi Jinping are expected to talk on Thursday, a source familiar with the planning told Reuters, amid fresh tensions over Taiwan and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.