Hong Kong shares may end a holiday-shortened week higher on Thursday, as global stocks soared and U.S. Treasury yields dipped after the Federal Reserve stunned markets by deciding against cutting back on its asset-buying programme.
The prospect of super-easy money and low U.S. rates holding for longer should bolster interest-rate sensitive stocks such as Hong Kong property-related names. Easing concerns of a flight of capital should also lift the cyclical sector.
Markets in the Chinese territory are closed on Friday for the Mid-Autumn Festival, while mainland China markets are shut Thursday and Friday for the same public holiday.
On Wednesday, the Hang Seng Index - which ended on Monday at its highest since May 22 - slipped 0.3 percent to 23,117.5 points. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong shed 0.6 percent.
At 0030 GMT, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.7 percent. South Korea markets are shut for a holiday.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* Wison Engineering Services Co Ltd, a supplier to PetroChina , said its executive director and chief financial officer Chen Wenfeng had resigned while a finance manager of the company was assisting in an unspecified investigation in China.
* China Huishan Dairy, which owns the country's second largest herd of dairy cows, raised $1.3 billion in a Hong Kong IPO, pricing the offering at the top of expectations, a source with direct knowledge of the deal said on Thursday.
* China's biggest property developers are sitting on $25 billion in cash as they prepare for a possible credit crunch and another round of crackdowns on real estate speculation. Companies including Shimao Property Holdings Ltd and Greentown China Holdings Ltd raised more than $16 billion in offshore bonds and loans over the first eight months of 2013 - about 36 percent more than in all of 2012.
* CNOOC Ltd, China's top offshore oil explorer, began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday, fulfilling a commitment made to win Canadian approval for the company's $15.1 billion acquisition of Nexen Inc earlier this year.
* Winteam Pharmaceutical Group Ltd said on Wednesday it had acquired the entire issued share capital of Tongjitang Chinese Medicines Company for 2.64 billion yuan ($431.27 million).