HONG KONG, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares were set to
open slightly higher on Thursday with defensive sectors such as
telecoms continuing to attract investor interest although gains
are likely to be capped by weakness in oil producers after crude
prices slumped overnight.
The Hang Seng index started October with mild gains,
rising 0.2 percent on Wednesday. Insurer AIA Group was
the biggest boost for the benchmark, hitting a record intraday
high and ending up 2.3 percent.
The China Enterprises index ended the day little
changed with turnover sluggish as mainland stock markets remain
shut through the week.
Stocks on Wall Street held on to gains overnight on
better-than-expected ADP jobs data. But a weak 2013 forecast
from Hewlett-Packard senti its shares down 13 percent to
a nine-year low which in turn could weigh on Hong Kong tech
issues such as Lenovo.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.3 percent
while South Korea's Kospi was off 0.1 percent as of 0030
STOCKS TO WATCH:
* Swire Properties Ltd said its biggest
shareholder John Swire & Sons (H.K.) Ltd has agreed to sell all
its direct shareholdings in the property group for HK$4.88
billion ($629.2 million).
* Canada's official opposition New Democratic Party will
unveil its position on CNOOC Ltd's $15.1 billion bid
for oil Canadian producer Nexen Inc at 10 a.m. (1400
GMT) on Thursday, the party said in a statement on Wednesday.
* Russia's Rusal, the world's largest aluminium producer,
will invest $100 million in a coal-fired electricity generating
plant in Jamaica, hoping to reduce power costs at its operations
in the Caribbean country. Rusal controls 65 percent
of Jamaica's alumina production capacity and operates three of
the island's four alumina refineries.
(Reporting by Vikram Subhedar; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)