Hong Kong shares may start lower on Wall St losses

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Hong Kong shares could open weaker on Thursday, tracking Wall Street's losses amid worries that the Federal Reserve may soon begin to taper back its stimulus program.

Hong Kong shares could open weaker on Thursday, tracking Wall Street's losses amid worries that the Federal Reserve may soon begin to taper back its stimulus program.

Hong Kong markets were closed for a public holiday on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Hang Seng Index slid 1.2 percent to 21,354.7, breaking below an April trough to close at its lowest since Nov. 20.

Other Asian bourses extended their recent losses on Thursday, with Japan's Nikkei down 3.1 percent and South Korea's KOSPI off 0.3 percent at 0045 GMT.

FACTORS TO WATCH:

* Hopewell Hong Kong Properties Ltd, a unit of Hopewell Holdings, said it had decided not to proceed with its global offering as scheduled due to volatile market conditions.

* Italy's Prada, which posted a 13.5 percent rise in first-quarter profit, said it sees growth potential in its smaller brands, which continued to lag the performance of its eponymous fashion label in the first quarter.

* Miners Rio Tinto and Glencore Xstrata have held early-stage talks to consider a plan that could combine thermal coal assets in Australia as they battle low prices and high costs, two sources familiar with the plan said.

* French perfume and cosmetics retailer Nocibe has received expressions of interest from German perfume-to-books group Douglas Holding and from French private equity firm LBO France in an alliance with Chinese conglomerate Fosun, French daily Le Figaro said.

* Lippo Ltd said it expected to record a loss for 15 months ended in March in 2013, as compared to a profit for 12 months ended in December in 2011, because there had no fair value gain arisen from completion of property projects, less profit from property sale and higher finance costs.

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