Hong Kong stocks end flat

Hong Kong stocks ended flat on Tuesday in cautious trade as investors wait to see what the US Federal Reserve's plans are for its stimulus scheme.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index edged down 0.02 points to 21,225.88 on turnover of HK$59.00 billion (US$7.61 billion).

Markets have been in turmoil for weeks as investors speculate on whether the Federal Reserve will continue with its $85-billion-a-month quantitative easing (QE) programme, which has helped fuel a global stocks rally.

The Fed is expected to announce Wednesday after a two-day meeting when, or if, it intends to begin reeling in the huge bond-buying scheme as the economy shows signs of picking up.

Mark To, head of research at Wing Fung Financial, said volumes had been thin as investors await the Fed policy committee's decision on QE.

Levels are "neither very attractive nor very expensive", he said . "All we can do is wait."

Utilities fell after a New York factory report pointed to expansion of activity in June while a closely watched housing market index rose to its highest level since April 2006.

Both sent US Treasury yields higher as investors anticipated the strong economic readings would help persuade the Fed to start reeling in QE.

Power Assets declined 1.1 percent to HK$68.80 and CLP Holdings slipped 0.2 percent to HK$63.45.

Mainland banks fell despite state media reporting that Central Huijin Investment, part of China's sovereign wealth fund, had raised its stakes in the nation's four major banks.

Bank of China declined 0.3 percent to $3.23 and China Construction Bank fell 0.5 percent to HK$5.57.

Chinese stocks closed up 0.14 percent. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 3.07 points to 2,159.29 on turnover of 63.6 billion yuan ($10.4 billion).

"The news has to some extent boosted confidence in the market, but it's far from enough to help the broader market get rid of the consolidation mode as concerns about the economic outlook are intensifying," Zheshang Securities analyst Zhang Yanbing told Dow Jones Newswires.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China rose 0.97 percent to 4.16 yuan, Agricultural Bank of China climbed 0.75 percent to 2.69 yuan and China Construction Bank ended up 0.43 percent at 4.65 yuan.

But Bank of China fell 0.73 percent to 2.73 yuan.

Xi'an Aero-Engine surged by its 10 percent daily limit to 15.57 yuan after announcing plans to acquire nearly 10 billion yuan worth of engine assets from aviation industry giant AVIC, its biggest shareholder.

Shaanxi Aerospace Power Hi-Tech jumped 5.30 percent to 13.51 yuan and Hafei Aviation Industry rose 1.71 percent to 26.24 yuan.