Hong Kong shares are set to extend their losses on Thursday, after the U.S. Federal Reserve failed to put to bed worries about an imminent reduction of its massive stimulus, while investors will remain cautious ahead of a Chinese manufacturing report due later.
On Wednesday, the Hang Seng Index closed down 0.7 percent at 21,817.73, its lowest finish in more than a week. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong fell 0.5 percent. Each has dropped more than 3 percent in the past four days.
The HSBC China flash manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) for August, the earliest indicator of manufacturing activity in the mainland for the month, is due at 0145 GMT. Investors will be keen to gauge the details of the report after a handful of recent data suggested the worst may be over for the world's second-largest economy.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was down 1 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was down 1.3 percent at 0051 GMT.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* ZTE Corp expects to post a third quarterly net profit for the July-September period, thanks to cost-cutting measures and as the world's No. 5 telecom equipment and smartphone maker shunned the low-margin contracts that led to it posting losses last year.
* China's Gezhouba Group Corp and Argentina's Electroingenieria have been awarded contracts to build two hydroelectric dams in the Patagonia region for $4.1 billion, the Argentine government said in its official gazette on Wednesday.
* The London Metal Exchange (LME), which is owned by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, has listed six warehouses in its new delivery location, the Taiwan port of Kaohsiung, effective from Nov. 21, the exchange said on Wednesday.
* China's Everbright Securities has been ordered to suspend lead-underwriting any new debt financing instruments of non-financial enterprises in the country's inter-bank bond market, the company said on Wednesday, after a computer glitch caused a trading loss of $32 million.
* State-backed China Resources Enterprise Ltd said on Wednesday it had bid for Hong Kong's biggest supermarket chain, a move analysts said would help the beer-to-retail conglomerate expand market share through a quality brand.
* Sinopec Corp's subsidiary refinery in China's northern province of Hebei began a full-plant shutdown on Tuesday for regular repairs that will last 40 days, an industry official said.
* China's Bank of Communications Co Ltd posted a 12 percent rise in net profit for January-June, its weakest first-half in four years, due to slowing loan growth and compressed interest margins.
* China's Bank of Communications appointed Peng Chun as its new president following the resignation of Niu Ximing from that role, the country's fifth-largest lender said.
* China Telecom Corp Ltd said on Wednesday its handset subsidies rose by 22 percent to 14.08 billion yuan in the first half, as it spends more after bringing in the iPhone last year. Biggest rival China Mobile Ltd saw its handset subsidies increase by around 18 percent in the first half.