Hong Kong shares may start higher, eye 5th weekly gain
HONG KONG, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares may start higher on Friday and could post a fifth-straight weekly gain, helped by a bounce on Wall Street after comments from a senior Republican Party official renewed hopes of a deal that will help the U.S. avert a fiscal crisis. China Machinery Engineering Corporation is expected to make its listing debut. On Thursday, the Hang Seng Index closed up 0.2 percent at 22,659.8, reversing midday losses to stay at its highest since Aug. 1, 2011, but trading volume was low. Chart resistance is next seen at about 22,800, peaks last seen in July-August 2011. The benchmark is now up 0.2 percent on the week. Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 1 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.3 percent at 0056 GMT. FACTORS TO WATCH: * Italian luxury shoemaker Salvatore Ferragamo said on Thursday it bought an additional 30 percent in a joint venture with Chinese partner Trinity Ltd to continue its expansion in Asia. * The National Council* Commodity trader Trafigura has launched arbitration proceedings against a unit of China Coal Group for reneging on a thermal coal contract, an official from the Chinese state-owned firm said on Thursday.