Hong Kong - Hong Kong shares eased further away from a 31-month high on Wednesday, with risk sentiment hurt by renewed talk about a looming tapering of asset purchases by the US Federal Reserve.
But losses were limited by a buoyant mainland Chinese market, as investors cheered media reports this week shedding further light on Beijing's reform agenda first unveiled more than two weeks ago.
The Hang Seng Index, which had closed on Monday at its highest since April 21, 2011, ended down 0.8 percent at 23,728.7 points.
The China Enterprises Index of the top offshore Chinese listings in Hong Kong shed 0.7 percent.
MGM China jumped 4.8 percent after it displaced Melco Crown on Goldman Sachs' conviction buy list on greater potential share price gains. In its 2014 outlook on Macau casinos, Goldman Sachs analysts upgraded their target prices on all sector players, buoying the sector's gains on Wednesday.
The official Xinhua news agency reported late on Tuesday that China's decision-making Politburo will push forward with land reforms in a steady rollout of its plan for “new urbanisation”.
But China's President Xi Jinping warned in the same Xinhua article that the world's second-largest economy faces “challenges and opportunities” due to “profound and complex changes” in the global and domestic environment.
The People's Bank of China also issued a statement on Wednesday that gave a detailed and aggressive timeline for launching deep reforms in the Shanghai free trade zone, with a one-year target for implementing “most” of them, adding that those reforms could be then duplicated in other FTZs around the country. - Reuters