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Hong Kong shares may start lower after weak euro zone data

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 01:10 hrs

HONG KONG, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares could start a holiday-interrupted week slightly lower on Friday as euro zone growth data showed a deeper-than-expected recession and as investors remain cautious ahead of a G20 meeting this weekend.

On Thursday, the Hang Seng Index ended up 0.9 percent at 23,413 points. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong gained 1.5 percent. Financial markets in the Chinese territory were shut for a three-day Lunar New Year holiday and reopened on Thursday.

Mainland China markets are shut all week and will resume trading on Monday, Feb. 18.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.8 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.1 percent at 0045 GMT.

FACTORS TO WATCH:

* Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEx) plans to offer after-hours futures trading from April 8 to allow investors to hedge or adjust positions when news breaks in the European or U.S. business day.

* Talks are under way on an asset swap through which Russia's Norilsk Nickel would gain an interest in the vast, untapped Udokan copper deposit in Siberia. Hong Kong-listed aluminium firm UC RUSAL is a major investor of Norilsk.

* Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd's January car sales jumped 67 percent year-on-year, or up 7 percent from December, to a record of 63,532.

* Coach Inc Chief Executive Officer Lew Frankfort will step down in January and be replaced by the executive who has overseen the upscale leather-goods maker's successful expansion in Asia, the firm said on Thursday.

* China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec), Asia's largest refiner, has completed a $3.1 billion share placement.

* Lee Hing Development Ltd said its net profit after tax for 2012 was HK$98 million based on unaudited consolidated management accounts against a profit of HK$12 million a year ago, lifted by gains from the disposal of trading investments.

* China Metal International Holdings Inc said its unaudited revenue for January rose to $25.8 million from $20.8 million a year ago.

MARKET EVENTS

- Hao Tian Resources Group Ltd EGM

ECONOMIC DATA

- Hong Kong Exchange Fund Foreign Assets for January

- UK retail sales for January

- US NY Fed manufacturing index for February

- US foreign buying T-bonds for December

- US overall net capital flow for December

- US industrial output for January

- US capacity industrialization for January

- US manufacturing output for January




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