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Hong Kong shares seen lower, exporters under pressure
HONG KONG, July 17 |
HONG KONG, July 17 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares are set to start lower on Tuesday, tracking Wall Street losses on weaker-than-expected U.S. retail sales, with exporters names likely to be on the defensive.
U.S. retail sales fell in June for a third straight month of declines, the longest run of declines since 2008 when the country was mired in recession, with drops seen across a broad range of industries.
Sentiment may also be hurt after China said combined profits for state-owned firms fell 11.6 percent in the first-half from a year earlier.
Turnover in Hong Kong could mark a fresh 2012 low recorded on Monday, as investors await U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's semi-annual congressional testimony later in the day that could provide fresh clues of more stimulus from the Fed.
On Monday, the Hang Seng Index closed up 0.2 percent at 19,121.3. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong closed down 0.2 percent at 9,218.8.
Short selling accounted for 9.5 percent of total turnover on Monday, the lowest in a week but still above the 8 percent historical average.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.1 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.3 percent at 0047 GMT.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* Japanese group Dai-ichi Life Insurance, Korea Life Insurance, and Canadian peer Manulife have submitted final round bids for parts of ING's Asian business, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
* Shares of Chinese infant food suppliers are set to be a focus after two analysts lowered their price targets on the stock of Mead Johnson Nutrition Co, maker of Enfamil baby formula, due to concerns about slowing growth in China, the company's biggest and most important market.
* Sun Hung Kai Properties tapped two family members as the long-awaited "Plan B" for the company's top management after Hong Kong's anti-corruption agency on Friday charged its co-chairmen in a HK$34 million ($4.4 million) bribery scandal.
Co-chairmen Thomas and Raymond Kwok, Hong Kong's second-richest men after Li Ka-shing, elevated two of their sons as stand-in directors of the world's second-largest developer and promoted two other executives to support the chairmen while they defend themselves against the charges.
* Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd said its June freight traffic fell 5.4 percent from a year earlier, hurt by continued weakness in the air cargo market, but passenger numbers grew on strong demand ahead of the peak summer season.
* Pacific Andes International Holdings Ltd has proposed an issue of unsecured senior notes to institutional investors, to fund expansion of its fishing operations in the North Pacific Ocean and repay debt. For statement, here
* Winsway Coking Coal Holdings Ltd said it expected to record a loss for the first half of 2012 compared to a profit for the same period a year ago due falls in prices and demand for coking coal in China. For statement, here
* Anton Oilfield Services Group said its wholly-owned Anton Oilfield Services (Group) Ltd had won the tender for the provision of oil-based drilling fluid services for ultra-high pressure and ultra-high temperature conventional natural gas wells in the Tarim Basin, and a framework agreement will be signed shortly. For statement, here
* Huadian Power International Corp Ltd said it generated power of 78.35 million MWh for the first half of 2012, up 6.28 percent from a year ago period, due to additional power generated by newly operated generating units. On-grid electricity sold was 73.17 million MWh, up 6.21 percent from the same period last year. For statement, here
* China Coal Energy Co Ltd said it commercial coal production volume rose 7.7 percent year-on-year to 8.58 million tonnes while coke production volume was down 11.8 percent to 150,000 tonnes. Coal sales volume jumped 41.8 percent year-on-year to 14.22 million tonnes. For statement, here (Reporting by Clement Tan and Donny Kwok; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
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