Hong Kong shares may start higher, Tencent in focus
HONG KONG May 16 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares could start higher on Thursday, lifted by records notched up on Wall Street and a large jump in quarterly net profit for Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings.
Hong Kong is shut on Friday for a public holiday and will resume trading next Monday. China Resources Enterprises is due to report quarterly earnings later on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the Hang Seng Index ended up 0.5 percent at 23,044.2 points after closing on Tuesday at its lowest since May 6. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong also rose 0.5 percent.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.1 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.7 percent at 0100 GMT.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* The London Metal Exchange, which was sold to Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd late last year, expects to announce a 2014 launch date for its self-clearing platform within the next few weeks.
* Brockman Mining Ltd said it has applied for access to Fortescue Metals Group's iron ore rail line, a move crucial to the Chinese firm's efforts to start producing iron ore.
* RUSAL, the world's largest producer of aluminium, could consider deeper capacity cuts if prices for the metal continue to languish around levels last seen in the aftermath of the financial crisis, a senior executive said.
* Tencent Holdings more than tripled the number of active users for its mobile chat application in the first quarter, a boon to China's largest online gaming and social networking firm as it tries to diversify its revenue stream. It reported a 37.4 percent rise in first-quarter profit, slightly higher than analysts' estimates.
* Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd said its freight traffic dropped 0.6 percent year-on-year in April on weak air cargo demand.
* Metallurgical Corporation of China Ltd said value of newly signed contracts from January to April amounted to 60.82 billion yuan, down 19.2 percent from the same period a year ago.(Reporting by Clement Tan and Donny Kwok; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
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