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Hong Kong: Stocks flat ahead of China party congress, Q3 GDP data

[HONG KONG] Hong Kong stocks were little changed in quiet trading on Tuesday, with the main index hovering around 10-year peak as investors await a congress of China's Communist Party and third-quarter Chinese economic data this week.

The Hang Seng index was unchanged at 28,697.49, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.3 per cent, to 11,568.31 points.

Asian equities were generally firm, drawing inspiration from another record high on Wall Street overnight.

Investors in Hong Kong are closely watching the twice-a-decade party congress that starts on Wednesday, where President Xi Jinping is expected to lay out new policy initiatives and further consolidate his power for his second five-year term.

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Markets are also awaiting third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data on Thursday and will be watching for any signs of a long-expected slowdown after a strong first half.

Economists polled by Reuters expect economic growth dipped marginally to 6.8 per cent in the third quarter from 6.9 per cent in April-June as government crackdowns on debt risks and speculation in the housing market start to bite.

However, China's 10-year treasury futures dropped to the lowest level in nearly five months on Tuesday, as some traders bet on a possible GDP upside surprise, after central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said the economy could grow 7 per cent in the year's second half, versus 6.9 per cent in the first six months.

Sector performance was mixed in Hong Kong.

Energy shares rose on higher oil prices, but industrial stocks fell.

REUTERS