Hong Kong shares could rebound from a eight-month closing low on Friday, tracking a Wall Street rebound after upbeat U.S. economic data, but benchmark indexes are headed for their fifth-straight weekly loss.
After markets close on Friday, Galaxy Entertainment will take Esprit's place on the Hang Seng Index, while PICC Group will replace Aluminum Corporation of China (Chalco) on the China Enterprises Index.
On Thursday, the Hang Seng Index ended down 2.2 percent at 20,887 points, its lowest close since October. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong finished down 2.7 percent.
They are set for a fifth-straight weekly loss, down 3.2 and 4.9 percent respectively. The H-share index is currently heading for its worst weekly loss since it dived 5.6 percent in the week ending May 18, 2012.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 2 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.5 percent at 0058 GMT.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* China's Sinopec is negotiating to join a $20 billion liquefied natural gas project run by Russia's Novatek , a source close to the talks said, which would be the biggest foray yet by a Chinese firm into Russia's Arctic.
* Royal Dutch Shell has signed a letter of intent with a private Chinese energy firm Guanghui Energy to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in east China, a Shell China official said on Thursday.
* Vehicles sales in China rose 9.8 percent in May from a year earlier, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
* Jiangxi Copper Co Ltd said its controlling shareholder Jiangxi Copper Corporation had raised stake in the company by 1.18 percent to 39.59 percent as on June 11, and it would continue to increase its shareholding by an aggregate amount of up to two percent of the total issued share capital.
* Agile Property Holdings Ltd said it recorded contracted sales of 3.06 billion yuan for May, bringing the aggregated contracted sales for first five months of 2013 to 12.91 billion yuan.