Hong Kong shares may rise after 2-1/2 day Christmas holiday

HONG KONG Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:29am IST

HONG KONG Dec 27 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares could start Thursday higher as financial markets in the territory resume trading after a 2-1/2-day Christmas holiday, although many investors are on vacation.

Strong gains in the onshore Chinese markets that buoyed the Shanghai Composite Index and the CSI300 of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings above their respective 200-day moving averages, are likely to help.

On Monday, the Hang Seng Index inched up 0.2 percent to 0.2 percent at 22,541.2 in half-day trade. The China Enterprises Index .HSCE of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong closed up 0.4 percent.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.9 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.2 percent at 0050 GMT.

FACTORS TO WATCH:

* China has unveiled a raft of new measures to cut logistics costs, including reducing government fees levied on farm products and highway tolls, in a bid to help boost consumption.

* China's consumers are leading an uneven recovery in the world's second biggest economy that has retailers expecting stronger sales in six months, early results of The China Beige Book survey showed on Wednesday.

* China posted a $51.7 billion deficit in its capital and financial account in the third quarter, official data showed on Wednesday, a downward revision to the preliminary $70.8 billion reported in October.

* China faces rising risks in its banking sector and pressure on government revenue in 2013 while economic recovery could be hampered by weak external demand and domestic constraints, Vice Finance Minister Li Yong said in comments published on Wednesday.

* China's Sinopec Group, parent of China Petroleum and Chemical Corp and ConocoPhillips will research potentially vast reserves of shale gas in southwestern China over the next two years, state news agency Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

* China will extend its property tightening policies into 2013 to choke speculative buying while expanding its trial property tax, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday, citing the country's housing ministry.

* China's State Council has allowed more commercial banks to set up fund management businesses in a move to boost capital market liquidity, mainland media reported on Wednesday.

* China will review on-grid power tariffs annually and adjust them if thermal coal prices fluctuate by more than 5 percent a year, the government said on Tuesday, marking a small step towards broader market-oriented energy pricing reforms.

* China may require internet users to register with their real names when signing up to network providers, state media said on Tuesday, extending a policy already in force with microblogs in a bid to curb what officials call rumours and vulgarity.

* Jizhong Energy Resources bought Hebei Aviation Investment Group's 15 percent stake in Xiamen Airlines for 1.9 billion yuan ($307.8 million), Xiamen's parent China Southern Airlines said late on Wednesday.

* Weichai Power said it is disposing its 40 percent equity interest in Weichai Westport that will result in a net gain of about 24.9 million yuan.

* Nanjing Panda Electronics shareholders have approved a proposed A-share placement not exceeding 1.3 billion yuan, H-share trade to resume.(Reporting by Clement Tan and Lee Chyen Yee; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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