HONG KONG, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares could hit a
fresh 2012 intra-day high on Friday, tracking Wall Street gains
after positive U.S. consumer confidence and private-sector jobs
data ahead of the non-farm payrolls report later in the day.
Data from payrolls processor ADP showed U.S. companies added
158,000 workers in October, the fastest pace in eight months. In
another encouraging sign, U.S. consumer confidence jumped in
October to its highest in more than four years, the Conference
On Thursday, the Hang Seng Index rose 0.8 percent to
21,821.9, just shy of the current 2012 intra-day high of
21,847.7 on Oct. 26. The China Enterprises Index of the
top Chinese listings in Hong Kong jumped 1.1 percent. This week,
they are now each up 1.3 and 2.4 percent.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 1.2
percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was up 1 percent at
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* The Hong Kong Monetary Authority stepped into the currency
market for a second time on Thursday by selling HK$2.3 billion
($300 million) in Hong Kong dollars as the local currency
repeatedly hit the strong end of its trading range.
* Hong Kong may take further measures to control runaway
property prices but the Asian financial centre is likely to
avoid steps such as a capital gains tax that would be
complicated, Kong Kong's leader, Leung Chun-ying, said on
* Air China Ltd , Asia's second-largest
airline by market value, said on Thursday the China Securities
Regulatory Commission, China's stock market regulator, has
approved a 1.05 billion yuan ($168.34 million) private share
* American International Group Inc earned a
larger-than-expected profit during the third quarter, due in
part to big gains on its investment holdings. AIG's sale of
certain securities, including a stake in former subsidiary AIA
Group Ltd, as well as higher values of bond holdings,
contributed to profits. In a CNBC interview, AIG CEO Bob
Benmosche said AIG had time to make a decision on what to do
with its remaining stake in the Asian insurer AIA.
* Las Vegas Sands Corp, owned by billionaire Sheldon
Adelson, on Thursday posted lower earnings amid challenges at
its Singapore operations and higher costs for properties in
Macau. Sands China Ltd, which operates several casinos
in Macau, reported revenues rose 36.7 percent to $1.64 billion
and net income rose 17.4 percent to $326.7 million.
* Li & Fung Ltd, a manager of supply chains for
global retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc and
Target Corp, said it would issue $500 million of
perpetual bonds to help fund development and acquisitions.
* Husky Energy Inc, a unit of Hutchison Whampoa
, said its quarterly profit rose slightly as higher
production at its heavy oil projects in Saskatchewan helped
reduce the impact of lower crude oil prices and planned
maintenance at its North Atlantic operations.
* Glencore said its closely watched
trading operations performed "strongly" in the third quarter,
against a more uneven picture for its mines, where strikes and
Congo power cuts dampened growth.