Hong Kong Shares May Start The Week Steady; Earnings, Fed Eyed

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Hong Kong shares may start steady on Monday as investors remain cautious ahead of the corporate earnings season and the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting this week.

A man talks on mobile phone in front of panel displaying Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong

Hong Kong shares may start steady on Monday as investors remain cautious ahead of the corporate earnings season and the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting this week.

On Friday, the Hang Seng Index ended up 0.3 percent at 21,969 points, and rose 2.8 percent for the week. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings finished flat, but jumped 3.3 percent for the week.

Elsewhere in Asia at 0045 GMT, Japan's Nikkei was down 1.8 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.1 percent.

FACTORS TO WATCH:

* Rio Tinto has agreed to sell its majority stake in the Northparkes copper mine in Australia to China Molybdenum Co Ltd for $820 million, as the global miner looks to slash costs and cut debt.

* Chinese investment firm Hang Lung Group denied it was in talks to buy a stake in Israeli insurance company Clal Insurance from holding company IDB Development , saying it was not interested in buying businesses outside of Hong Kong and China.

* China Agri-Industries Holdings Ltd, a unit of Chinese state-owned giant COFCO group, said on Friday that it expects its first-half net profit to rise 30 percent from a year earlier due to gains in the yuan and positive impact from its hedging model.

* Weiqiao Textile Co Ltd said the China Securities Regulatory Commission had approved its plan to issue up to 6 billion yuan worth of corporate bonds.

* Crude oil and gas producer MIE Holdings Corp said it expected to record a material decrease in its net profit for the six months ended in June as oil price dropped, net production fell, while depreciation, depletion and amortization expenses increased.

* PetroChina Co Ltd said Wang Dongjin was appointed as the president of the company with effect from July 28 July, replacing Zhou Jiping who retained the position of the chairman of the board.

* Franshion Properties (China) Ltd said it expected to see a significant increase in the unaudited profit attributable to owners of the company for the six months ended in June due to significant increase in the amount of properties sold.

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