BEIJING/SHANGHAI: Hong Kong shares ended lower on Thursday, tracking weakness in other Asian markets, after the U.S. Federal Reserve pledged to keep interest rate low but stopped short of offering fresh stimulus to boost the world's largest economy.
At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was down 384.78 points, or 1.56%, to close at 24,340.85. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 1.15% to 9,732.15.
The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 1.3%, while IT property sectors dipped 2.21% and 1.22%, respectively.
The Fed said overnight it would keep interest rates near zero until inflation is on track to "moderately exceed" the central bank's 2% inflation target "for some time," but stopped short of offering further stimulus to shore up a battered U.S. economy.
Hong Kong-listed shares of HSBC Holdings Plc fell 2.68% in its worst day since Aug. 3, as investors averted the banking sector due to a low interest rate environment, while bad debt, Sino-U.S. tensions and Brexit-related uncertainties also weighed on sentiment.
The Hang Seng Finance Index declined 1.53%.
China's main Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.41% at 3,270.44 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 0.53%.
Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.58%, while Japan's Nikkei index closed down 0.67%.
The yuan was quoted at 6.7685 per U.S. dollar at 0808 GMT, 0.19% weaker than the previous close of 6.756. - Reuters
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