HONG KONG Jan 24 Hong Kong shares look set to start lower on Thursday, ahead of a private preliminary survey of January manufacturing activity in China expected shortly after the market open.
Apple Inc suppliers and other technology-related stocks could come under some pressure after Apple missed revenue expectations for a third straight quarter after sales of its flagship iPhone came in below Wall Street's targets.
On Wednesday, the Hang Seng Index ended down 0.1 percent at 23,635.1 points, after failing to hold above chart resistance at about 23,708, the high on May 31 and June 1, 2011.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.2 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.3 percent at 0043 GMT.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* China's Sinopec Corp , Asia's largest refiner, processed 1.81 percent more crude oil in 2012 versus 2011, a pace roughly half an earlier target of 3.5 percent, the company said Wednesday, a reflection of slowing demand for fuel.
* Foxconn International Holdings Ltd (FIH), the world's biggest contract maker of cellphones, said it expected to record a net loss in 2012 due to lower demand from some of its major customers. FIH said its net loss for the second half of last year was expected to be smaller than the group's first-half net loss.
* CITIC Securities Co Ltd , China's biggest listed brokerage, warned on Wednesday that 2012 earnings fell about 66 percent from a year earlier.
* Chinese state-owned auto maker Dongfeng Motor Group Co. is set to announce as early as this weekend a strategic alliance with Swedish truck maker Volvo AB, according to a Dongfeng official.
* A consortium led by property developer New World Development Co Ltd and Vanke Property (Hong Kong) Co Ltd has won a tender for a railway station property project in Hong Kong for HK$3.4 billion ($439 million), the MTR Corp said on Wednesday.
* HSBC Holdings PLC says to sell its 73 percent stake in a mutual fund business in Greece.
* Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd said it would issue $400 million of 6.875 percent senior notes raising proceeds to refinance debt and for working capital.
* Huaneng Power International Inc said it planned to issue yuan denominated bonds, raising up to 5 billion yuan to procure imported commodities including coal.
* China Renewable Energy Investment Ltd said it expected to see a significant impairment loss on some of its wind farm projects for the year ended in December 2012.
* Value Partners Group Ltd (0806.HK) said it expected to report a substantial increase of 125 percent in its consolidated net profit to about HK$376.4 million for the year ended in December 2012 from HK$167.3 million in the previous year, thanks to net fair value gains and realized gains of its investments in its own funds and other investments.(Reporting by Clement Tan and Donny Kwok; Editing by Richard Pullin)