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HK stocks set for weak open; 9th straight loss in sight

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Tue, May 15, 2012 01:00 hrs

HONG KONG, May 15 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares are set to extend falls on Tuesday, with the benchmark stock index poised to register its worst losing streak in nearly two decades as fears of a Greece exit from Europe and weak Chinese growth keep investors on the backfoot.

The Hang Seng index closed down 1.2 percent on Monday, falling below its 200-day moving average for the first time since early February and retreating for an eighth straight session. The China Enterprises index of top locally listed mainland firms fell 1.5 percent.

The last time the Hang Seng index dropped for nine straight days was during an 11-day losing streak that ended in early May 1984.

Worries over Greece leaving the euro zone were compounded by data pointing towards a deeper recession in Europe, pushing investors away from risky assets and into safer havens such as U.S. Treasuries. Stocks on Wall Street fell with the S&P 500 closing 1.1 percent lower.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was down 1.1 percent while South Korea's KOSPI was off 0.9 percent as of 0030 GMT.

STOCKS TO WATCH

* SouthGobi Resources Ltd , a coal miner with operations in Mongolia, reported a first-quarter profit on Monday, as its sales nearly doubled and its average selling price rose. It said its coal mines in Mongolia were still operating despite a recent government announcement about a planned suspension of its mining licenses.

* Sun Hung Kai Properties board member Thomas Chan had his bail extended on Monday, according to a source familiar with the matter, in a widening graft scandal involving one of Asia's richest families.

* China Vanke, the country's biggest listed property developer by sales, has agreed to pay HK$1.1 billion ($142 million) for a 74 percent stake in Winsor Properties Holdings Ltd, the company announced on Monday. It said it plans to make a mandatory general offer for the remaining shares in Winsor, after acquiring the stake that was previously held by Wing Tai Properties Ltd.

* State-owned China Nonferrous Mining Corp (CNMC) is looking to raise HK$2.44 billion ($313 million) through a sale of shares in a Hong Kong listing, less than originally planned, IFR reported on Monday.

* Steel-to-property conglomerate Citic Pacific Ltd is seeking HK$6bn for working capital, more than the HK$3-4bn originally expected, sources said.

* Russia's UC RUSAL Plc, the world's biggest aluminium producer, posted an 84 percent drop in first-quarter net profit as prices fell, potentially fuelling a shareholder row over the company's refusal to sell its stake in Norilsk Nickel.

(Reporting by Vikram Subhedar; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)



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