Hong Kong shares seen flat to slightly higher

HONG KONG, April 17 Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:52pm EDT

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HONG KONG, April 17(Reuters) - Hong Kong shares were poised to start flat to slightly higher on Tuesday as worries over rising bond yields in Spain offset easing growth concerns for the U.S. economy, where retail sales for March came in higher than forecast.

The Hang Seng index ended Monday down 0.4 percent at 20,610.6 with financials the biggest drag as more profit warnings from Chinese companies and share placements kept markets under pressure.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6 percent helped by retail stocks, though a fifth day of losses for Apple Inc, which closed down 4.2 percent, pulled the S&P 500 and Nasdaq lower.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.2 percent while South Korea's Kospi was up 0.1 percent as of 0045 GMT.

STOCKS TO WATCH

* Pan-Asian private equity firm PAG and U.S. asset manager DE Shaw & Co Ltd are among 11 cornerstone investors that pledged to buy almost one-third of the up to $1.8 billion Hong Kong offer by Haitong Securities Co Ltd's, IFR reported on Monday. The company is offering up to 1.229 billion new shares at an indicative price range of HK$10.48 to HK$11.18 each.

* Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd said on Monday that March freight traffic fell 10.7 percent from a year earlier, but passengers carried and capacity grew.

* SouthGobi Resources Ltd said the Mongolian government has suspended exploration and mining licenses for its Ovoot Tolgoi coal mine following Chinese aluminum giant Chalco's bid to acquire a controlling stake in it.

* SouthGobi Resources Ltd also said it has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as auditors with effect from April 2, replacing Deloitte & Touche LLP which resigned on its own initiative prior to the expiry of its term of office. Deloitte has not expressed any reservations in its report for the two most recently completed fiscal years of the company, or for any period subsequent to the last completed fiscal year. For statement click here

* Canadian Solar Inc denied reports in the Chinese media that China National Offshore Oil Co Ltd (CNOOC) was negotiating to buy the solar panel maker, trimming the gains that had lifted its shares as much as 31 percent in premarket trading.

* Two Chinese wind turbine makers are looking into launching takeover bids for world number one Vestas Wind Systems, according to Danish daily Jyllands-Posten. Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co and Sinovel Wind Group have discussed the possibility with a number of corporate bankers after a plunge in Vestas' shares, Jyllands-Posten said, citing unidentified Danish corporate financiers.

* Datang International Power Generation Co Ltd said its total power generation amounted to 48.2555 billion kWh for the first quarter of 2012, up 4.83 percent from the same period a year ago. Total on-grid power generation amounted to 45.5071 billion kWh, up 4.93 percent from a year ago period. For statement click here

MARKET EVENTS

- Beijing Jingneng Clean Energy Co Ltd EGM in Beijing

- China Electronics Corporation Holdings Co Ltd AGM

- China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd Q1 financial and business review

- China State Construction International Holdings Ltd Q1 results

- RREEF China Commercial Trust final distribution

ECONOMIC DATA

- China foreign direct investment for March

- UK consumer price index for March

- UK retail price index for March

- Euro zone inflation for March

- US housing starts number for March

- US building permits number for March

- Canada BoC rate decision

- Canada manufacturing sales for February (Reporting by Vikram Subhedar; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

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