HONG KONG, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares could start
higher on Thursday after three days of losses, tracking Wall
Street strength after positive comments from another senior U.S.
official on the prospects of a budget deal to avert a fiscal
crisis in the world's largest economy.
Chow Tai Fook and CST Mining are among
companies expected to post corporate earnings later in the day.
On Wednesday, the Hang Seng Index closed down 0.6
percent at 21,709 points. The China Enterprises Index of
the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong ended down 1.2 percent at
Japan's Nikkei was up 0.6 percent, while South
Korea's KOSPI was up 0.9 percent at 0049 GMT.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* Oil prices fell on Wednesday, hit by expectations that
fuel demand will remain weak next year even if the U.S. Congress
reaches a deal to avoid the looming "fiscal cliff".
* Canada said on Wednesday it would decide soon on two big
foreign takeover bids for domestic energy companies, despite
possible delays in approval by U.S. regulatory authorities. The
government is studying a $15.1 billion proposal by China's CNOOC
Ltd to buy Nexen Inc and a C$5.2
billion ($5.3 billion) bid by Malaysia's Petronas for
Progress Energy Resources Corp.
* China Gas Holdings Ltd said its first-half net
profit more than doubled to HK$808 million.
* Next Media Ltd, owned by Hong Kong media mogul
Jimmy Lai, has signed a deal with five Taiwan tycoons to sell
its Taiwan print and TV assets for T$17.5 billion ($601
million), regulators said on Wednesday.
* India's efforts to clamp down on illegal mining have
handed a $15 billion lifeline to global iron ore giants, and
there could be more to come. The world's biggest producers Vale
, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton
have taken some of India's market share in
China, Japan and South Korea, and now are even eyeing exports to
their erstwhile competitor.
* Jewellery retailer Luk Fook Holdings (International) Ltd
said its first-half net profit fell 22 percent to
HK$558.2 million ($72.0 million) from HK$719.6 million due to a
high base effect and surging costs in staff and rent.
* Athletic shoes maker Yue Yuen Industrial (Holdings) Ltd
said its profit for the 12 months ended in September
rose 12.5 percent to $506 million and turnover increased by 3.6
percent to $7.3 billion. Shoe manufacturing turnover grew
slightly by 1.5 percent to $5.07 billion due to increased
caution in the placement of orders by brand name customers.