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Hong Kong shares seen lower in half-day trade

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Mon, Dec 24, 2012 08:15 hrs

HONG KONG, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares could start the week lower on Monday, tracking Wall Street's losses on U.S. fiscal concerns that are likely to be exacerbated by turnover weakened by the Christmas holiday.

Hong Kong financial markets will shut at noon on Monday and reopen on Thursday.

Last Friday, the Hang Seng Index shed 0.7 percent, its worst daily loss since Dec. 3, to knock the benchmark off a near 17-month high to 22,506.3. It slipped 0.4 percent last week, its first weekly loss in five.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea's KOSPI was flat at 0059 GMT, while Japan's financial markets are closed for holidays.

FACTORS TO WATCH:

* Austria's competition authority said it would not appeal against Telekom Austria's acquisition of Orange's budget mobile brand Yesss, freeing Hutchison Whampoa to buy Orange Austria in a 1.3 billion euro ($1.7 billion) deal that was conditional on the Yesss sale.

* China, the world's top coal importer, said it would scrap a regulation capping spot thermal coal prices, and would as of 2013 no longer intervene in annual coal price negotiations between sellers and utilities.

* In September, two months after China's state-owned CNOOC Ltd made an unexpected $15.1 billion bid for Canadian energy company Nexen Inc, Canada's spy agency told ministers that takeovers by Chinese companies may threaten national security.

* China has banned senior military officers from holding alcohol-fuelled banquets or from staying in luxury hotels when on work trips, the latest move by Communist Party chief Xi Jinping to fight corruption, state media reported on Saturday.

* Boeing and China Airlines announced an order for six 777s valued at about $2 billion.



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