Hong Kong shares seen steady, upside capped by chart resistance

HONG KONG Wed Feb 6, 2013 8:13pm EST

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HONG KONG Feb 7 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares may hold steady on Thursday after a flat Wall Street session and as investors await a European Central Bank policy decision later in the day and China January trade data due on Friday.

Lenovo Group Ltd, the world's No.2 PC brand, will be included as a constituent stock in Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index from March 4, the index manager said on Wednesday. Aluminum Corp of China Ltd (Chalco) will be removed.

On Wednesday, the Hang Seng Index climbed 0.5 percent to 23,256.9 points, with technical resistance seen at 23,407, the bottom end of a gap that opened up on the chart after Tuesday's 2.3 percent fall - the biggest drop in three months.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.4 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.5 percent at 0100 GMT.

FACTORS TO WATCH:

* China needs to pay special attention to consumer prices with controlling inflation a priority, the central bank said on Wednesday in a turnaround from its previous focus of supporting economic growth.

* China's cabinet has issued a timetable for oil companies to deliver cleaner fuel nationwide beginning this year, the Xinhua news agency reported, but the new standards won't become mandatory for four years despite rising public anger over choking air pollution.

* Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) posted Q4 revenue of $485.9 million and sees Q1 gross margin at between 17.5 percent and 19.5 percent.

* Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd said its Q4 revenue rose 9 percent to $1.1 billion and City of Dreams rolling chip volume for the fourth quarter was $23.5 billion, up 15 percent.

* Japanese style noodle restaurant chain operator Ajisen (China) Holdings Ltd warned on Wednesday it expected to post a significant drop in 2012 profit due to lower restaurant sales as Chinese consumers turned away after a political dispute between Japan and China over some East China Sea islands.

* Husky Energy Inc, Canada's No.3 oil producer and refiner and a unit of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing's Hutchison, reported a 16 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit as cheaper crude oil fattened refining margins.

* HSBC was forced into its biggest restructuring in almost 150 years because the bank's complex structure and wide geographical spread had made it attractive to criminals, its chief executive said.

* NetDragon Websoft Inc said it has submitted a proposal to the Hong Kong bourse for a spin-off of its mobile Internet business on the Growth Enterprise Market.

* China Foods Ltd said it would record a relatively large decrease in its unaudited consolidated net profit for 2012 due to loss in its kitchen food business and a decrease in profit in its wine business.

* China's top luxury watch retailer Hengdeli Holdings Ltd , in responding to a media report regarding allegations of losing its big brands, said it is the largest retailer for Omega and Rado through a joint venture with Swatch, and it keeps a close and good relationship with brands such as Swatch, LVMH, Richemont and Rolex.

* TCC International Holdings Ltd said it expected its profit for 2012 to drop significantly as compared to the year ago period due to over capacity in the cement industry in China and weak market demand.(Reporting by Clement Tan and Donny Kwok; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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