HONG KONG Dec 7 Hong Kong shares could post a third-straight weekly gain, but are expected to be relatively steady on Friday as investors await a U.S. nonfarm payrolls report later in the day.
PICC Group gained as much as 6.3 percent in grey market trading on Thursday, signalling expectations that the Chinese state-owned insurer will climb in its official debut on the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday.
On Thursday, the Hang Seng Index slipped 0.1 percent to 22,249.8 points, while the China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 0.3 percent.
On the week, they are each up 1 and 2.3 percent respectively, set for a third-straight weekly gain.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.1 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.5 percent at 0108 GMT.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* Wealthy tourists and overseas growth helped Italian fashion house Prada beat quarterly profit forecasts, lifting hopes for holiday sales of its leather bags and colourful dresses despite recession at home.
Prada reported on Thursday a 30 percent rise in third-quarter net profit to 122 million euros ($160 million), topping analysts' average forecast of 110 million.
* Brazil's Vale , the world's top iron ore producer, has blamed a Guinean government U-turn on rail and port links and shifting, unclear regulation for its decision to shelve the giant Simandou iron ore project.
Vale said it remained interested in working in Guinea and at Simandou, site of the world's largest untapped deposit of iron ore, but needed clarity to proceed with the project.
* A bureaucrat's note to brief Canada's prime minister on CNOOC Ltd's bid for Canadian oil producer Nexen Inc said the takeover, if approved, would give the Chinese company a stake in an oil field that has a growing influence over world oil prices, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.
* China Eastern Airlines Corp Ltd said it would buy a remaining 29.7 percent stake in Shanghai Eastern Logisitcs Co Ltd from China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company for 562 million yuan, and a 1 percent stake in the logistics unit from China Cargo Airlines Co Ltd, making the unit a wholly-owned subsidiary.
* GOME Electrical Appliances Holding Ltd said aunit had entered into agreement for the provision of 3.6 billion yuan new loan to Beijing Zhansheng. The term of the new loan is from Dec 5, 2012 to Dec 4, 2015 with interest rate fixed at 5.4 percent per annum.
* CNOOC Ltd said the Hong Kong Stock Exchange has granted a waiver to allow the company to further extend the dispatch date of a circular regarding a proposed acquisitions of Nexen shares to Dec 31, 2012, as it requires more time to finalize the circular's content.
* Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd said it sold 5,282 cars in November, up about 5 percent from the same period a year ago. Total sales volume in the first 11 months was 423,829 units, up 1 percent from the same period last year.(Reporting by Clement Tan and Donny Kwok; Editing by Kim Coghill)