Hong Kong shares seen higher, gains tempered by China data
HONG KONG, Sept 10
HONG KONG, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares were set for a firmer start on Monday, with large-cap energy and banking stocks poised to build on last week's big gains, as hopes for more steps from China to boost flagging growth spur investors back into the market.
The Hang Seng index snapped a three-week losing streak with Friday's 3.1 percent jump after China's domestic markets posted their best day in eight months.
Plans to spend a total of about 1 trillion yuan ($157.65 billion) on rail and road construction in China were approved last week, according to state media.
Data released at the weekend showed Chinese factories ran at their slowest rate for 39 months in August, while a double-digit rise in fixed asset investment showed infrastructure spending remained central to economic growth.
China is scheduled to release trade data for August that is expected to show exports grew just 3 percent year on year. The data is expected at 0200 GMT.
News of the infrastructure stimulus in China, combined with a European Central Bank decision to launch a new and potentially unlimited bond-buying programme, has brought back equity investors, giving stock exchange volumes a much-needed boost.
STOCKS TO WATCH:
* China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd , one of the country's top insurers, aims to raise HK$10.4 billion ($1.3 billion) through a Hong Kong H-share private placement to consolidate its capital base, it said in a statement on Monday.
* Morgan Stanley added Tencent Holdings to a list of the brokerage's best ideas in the Asia-Pacific region. The defensive nature of its business and a rich pipeline of online games are catalysts that could lift shares, Morgan Stanley said. The brokerage rates the stock an "overweight" and has a HK$284.50 price target representing a 17 percent gain from Friday's close.
* New Zealand kitchen and laundry appliance maker Fisher and Paykel Appliances Ltd said it had received a takeover approach from its largest shareholder, China's Haier Electronics Group Co Ltd.
* Activist fund Knight Vinke, a top shareholder in takeover target Xstrata, said on Sunday it rejected commodity trader Glencore's revised takeover proposal and called on Xstrata directors to "seek the highest possible price". Glencore has proposed increasing its offer for miner Xstrata to 3.05 shares for every Xstrata share from 2.8. ($1 = 6.3430 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Vikram Subhedar and Twinnie Siu; Editing by Paul Tait)
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