* SSEC -0.3 pct; CSI300 -0.5 pct; HSI -1.7 pct
* HK stocks slump as Fed flags faster monetary tightening
* Energy stocks fall on sliding oil price overnight
* Small-caps on the mainland advance
SHANGHAI, Dec 15 Hong Kong stocks joined a wide
slump in Asia on Thursday morning, after the U.S. Federal
Reserve raised interest rates and signalled a
faster-than-expected pace of policy tightening, making emerging
markets less attractive.
Chinese shares, less exposed to global market volatility due
to strict capital controls, dropped less sharply than Hong Kong
ones. Still, its banking sector plunged amid fears that a
dramatic sell-off in the bond market could hurt lenders' balance
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 1.7 percent to
22,076.38 points. If the losses at midday are not pared in the
afternoon, the index will close at a four-month low.
The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 2.4
percent, to hit 9,469.34 points.
Markets had all but priced in the quarter-point rate
increase by the Fed, but investors were spooked after the U.S.
central bank projected three hikes next year, up from two
previously, indicating a more aggressive tightening path.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority on Thursday followed the
Fed's lead, raising the city's base rate by 25 basis
All sectors in the city's stock market lost ground, with the
rate-sensitive property sector leading the decline.
The energy sector in both Hong Kong and China
retreated, slipping more than 2 percent and 1
percent respectively, in line with sliding oil prices
In China, the blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.5
percent, to 3,361.17 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index
lost 0.3 percent, to 3,131.31 points.
"The Fed's rate hike, rumours about some problems in the
bond markets, along with the stock market's recent downward
trend, all added to today's loss," said Zhang Qi, a
Shanghai-based analyst with Haitong Securities.
Sector performance was mixed in mainland markets, with gains
in tech shares cancelled out by losses in financial and energy
Banking stocks tumbled nearly 2.5 percent amid
an accelerated sell-off in China's bond market.
Investors found some solace from gains in small-caps.
Shenzhen's start-up board ChiNext was up over 1.5
percent at midday, on signs that some foreign investors are
buying small-caps after that index's recent weakness.
(Reporting by Jackie Cai and John Ruwitch; Editing by Richard