March 15, 2017 / 9:30 AM / a year ago

Hong Kong stocks edge lower ahead of Fed decision

SHANGHAI, March 15 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares eased on Wednesday, with investors focussed on what the Federal Reserve will say about tightening monetary policy during the rest of the year with markets already pricing in an immediate rise in U.S. interest rates.

The Hang Seng index fell 0.2 percent, to 23,792.85 points.

The China Enterprises Index lost 0.4 percent to 10,272.83 points, as traders said there were few surprises from Premier Li Keqiang’s news conference at the end of the annual meeting of China’s parliament.

Analysts say the market has priced in the probability that the Fed will raise its short-term interest rate when its two-day policy meeting ends later in the global day.

Sector performance was mixed, with energy shares leading the decline as lower oil prices dragged down the sector, while property stocks continued to outperform.

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing rose as much as 2.7 percent to hit a two-week high, aided by news that China is considering setting up debt market links between Hong Kong and the mainland this year.

China Longyuan Power slid 4.2 percent to a five-week low, after the company posted lower-than-expected profit growth for 2016. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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