Hong Kong shares face steady start, dividend counters in focus

HONG KONG Thu Aug 1, 2013 9:12pm EDT

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HONG KONG Aug 2 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares face a steady start on Friday, with high dividend companies in focus after positive U.S. factory data prodded U.S. Treasuries to a near two-year high.

On Thursday, the Hang Seng Index ended up 0.9 percent at 22,088.8 points and is up 0.5 percent on the week. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 0.7 percent, but is still down 0.3 percent this week.

Elsewhere in Asia at 0103 GMT, Japan's Nikkei was up 1.6 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.6 percent.

FACTORS TO WATCH:

* Oil major Royal Dutch Shell and China's CNOOC Ltd announced a new production-sharing contract on Thursday to explore for oil and gas in the South China Sea.

* Ports-to-telecoms conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Ltd , owned by Asia's richest man Li Ka-shing, reported on Thursday better-than-expected first-half profits, buoyed by a solid performance in European infrastructure and telecoms investments.

* Weak property sales at conglomerate Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd, controlled by Asia's richest man, Li Ka-shing, confirmed that a series of tightening steps is weighing on company profits and taking the heat out of one of the world's most expensive real estate markets.

* Metallurgical Corporation of China Ltd said it won a 99-year leasehold tender for a residential land parcel at Tampines Avenue 10 in eastern Singapore for S$289.7 million as it strengthens its position in the real estate market in Singapore.

* Guangzhou R&F Properties Co Ltd said contracted sales for July rose 25.3 percent year on year to 2.97 billion yuan.(Reporting by Clement Tan and Donny Kwok; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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