Hong Kong Shares May Start Higher, More China Data Due

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Hong Kong shares could start the week higher with sentiment boosted by Chinese trade data that offered more evidence the economy was stabilising, with investors also waiting for monthly inflation figures later in the day.

Hong Kong Shares May Start Higher, More China Data Due

Hong Kong shares could start the week higher with sentiment boosted by Chinese trade data that offered more evidence the economy was stabilising, with investors also waiting for monthly inflation figures later in the day.

China's exports rose 7.2 percent in August from a year earlier and imports rose 7 percent, leaving a trade surplus of $28.6 billion for the month.

U.S. employment grew less than expected in August and the jobless rate hit a 4-1/2-year low as people gave up the search for work, complicating the Federal Reserve's decision on whether to scale back its monetary stimulus this month.

The Hang Seng Index rose 0.1 percent to 22,621.2 points on Friday, its highest close since May 28. It gained 4.1 percent for the week, its biggest weekly rise in a year.

The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong slipped 0.1 percent on Friday, but still gained 5.2 percent for the week.

Elsewhere in Asia, at 0038 GMT, Japan's Nikkei was up 2.4 percent and South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.7 percent.

 

FACTORS TO WATCH:

* China's premier wants his plan to turn more Chinese into city dwellers to be "humanity-centred", focusing on quality of life and the environment and driven by job creation, the official China Daily newspaper reported.

* China's imports of crude oil, iron ore, copper and soybeans fell in August from July's record highs, but shipments stayed at elevated levels as manufacturing activity in the world's second-largest economy gains pace.

* China's Sinopec Corp will produce lower sulphur gasoline from October, three months ahead of an official mandate, as part of a national effort to clear up the smoggy air.

* PetroChina Co Ltd said an overseas individual shareholder filed a class action complaint with a U.S. court against it and current and former executives for alleged violations of securities laws in the United States.

* Ping An Insurance said it would buy up to 1.32 billion new shares of Ping An Bank at 11.17 yuan per share, a total cost of 14.8 billion yuan, raising its stake in the bank to 59 percent from 52.38 percent.

* Li Chong Hing Investment Ltd said its controlling shareholder was still in talks with independent third parties regarding possible sales of interests in Chong Hing Bank Ltd, but no agreement has been reached.

* China top footwear retailer Belle International Holdings Ltd said it would buy a footwear distributor for 700 million yuan as it aims for a self-owned brand in the high-end casual footwear sector. The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014.

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