Hong Kong shares may slip from August 2011 highs
HONG KONG, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares could slip from near 17-month highs at Thursday's open on stalled talks to avert a U.S. fiscal crisis and as investors await more possible easing at the conclusion of a Bank of Japan meeting later in the day. On Wednesday, the Hang Seng Index closed up 0.6 percent at 22,623.4, its highest close since Aug. 1, 2011. Stiff chart resistance is next seen at about 22,800, peaks reached in July-August 2011. Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was down 1 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.1 percent at 0051 GMT. FACTORS TO WATCH: * The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) stepped into the currency market late on Wednesday, selling HK$4.495 billion ($580.00 million) in Hong Kong dollars as the local currency repeatedly hit the strong end of its trading range. * China's central bank could target 9 trillion yuan ($1.4 trillion) in new local currency loans in 2013, up from an expected 8.4-8.5 trillion yuan this year, the Bank of Communications (BoCom) said on Wednesday. [ID: nL5E8NJ3FW] * China has started work on 22 major investment projects in its western provinces this year worth 577.8 billion yuan ($92.7 billion) to boost economic development in the country's vast hinterland, the top economic planning agency said on Wednesday. * Trading in the shares of China Vanadium Titano-Magnetite Mining Company will be suspended on Thursday, according to an exchange filing. No further details were available.* China Zhongsheng Resources Holdings said it acquired a 95 percent equity stake in Luxing Titanium for 20.9 million yuan.(Reporting by Clement Tan; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)
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