March 17 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares ended slightly higher after a volatile session on Wednesday as investors awaited the U.S. central bank’s policy meet outcome for cues on whether it could start raising interest rates earlier than it had previously said.
** Fed policymakers are expected this week to forecast that the U.S. economy will grow in 2021 at the fastest rate in decades, as the COVID-19 vaccination campaign gathers pace and a $1.9 trillion relief package washes through to households.
** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 6.43 points, or 0.02%, at 29,034.12. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.26% to 11,358.66.
** The subindex of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 1.1%, while the IT sector fell 0.25%, the financial sector ended 0.07% lower and the property sector rose 0.19%.
** “Markets are treading water with light turnover, indicating a lack of conviction, and it seems reasonable as it’s going to be hard for the FOMC to please everyone,” Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi, said in a note.
** In the region, Asian stocks fell on Wednesday, tracking Wall Street as investors waited to see if the Fed will signal a faster path toward policy normalisation than previously expected.
** Separately, some investors said they would closely watch the first high-level in-person contact between Beijing and Washington since U.S. President Joe Biden took office. Sino-U.S. relations have been one of the key factors influencing Chinese financial markets over the past few years. (Reporting by Winni Zhou and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Devika Syamnath)