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Hong Kong: Stocks flat amid North Korea worries

[HONG KONG] Hong Kong shares finished unchanged on Tuesday, with investors remaining in a defensive mood on persistent concerns over North Korea.

South Korean officials believe more provocation from the reclusive state is possible, despite international outrage over Sunday's missile test and calls for more sanctions on North Korea.

The Hang Seng index was unchanged at 27,741.35 points, while the China Enterprises Index, a gauge of mainland industry leaders listed in Hong Kong, gained 0.1 per cent, to 11,191.59 points.

Sector performance was mixed.

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Gains were led by property developers, as top developer China Vanke posted solid sales growth in August.

Shares of the dual-listed property giant jumped as much as 7.2 per cent to a record high in Hong Kong, after it reported a 47.3 per cent increase in contract sales for the first eight months of the year.

Material shares also held up with a 0.7 per cent gain, thanks to a weaker dollar and expectations China's economic growth will largely remain solid through year-end.

Reflecting relevant strength recently in the mainland market, as well as the impact of a resurgent yuan, an index tracking Chinese shares' premium over their Hong Kong peers stood at 133.73 before hitting the highest level since July, 2016.

A value above 100 indicates Shanghai shares are pricing at a premium to shares in the same company trading in Hong Kong, and vice versa.