Hong Kong shares may start weaker, US political impasse weigh
HONG KONG Oct 3 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares may start slightly weaker on Thursday as the U.S. government shutdown dragged on, keeping the mood subdued with investors reluctant to take on fresh positions.
A meeting between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders produced nothing but blame and counter-blame, dimming hopes of an early end to the impasse. Another fight over the debt ceiling still looms.
On Wednesday, the Hang Seng Index ended up 0.6 percent at 22,984.5 points, while the China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 0.2 percent.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.3 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was flat at 0040 GMT.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* Hutchison Whampoa has asked EU competition regulators to approve its proposed takeover of Telefonica's 02 Ireland business, which would make it the second largest mobile telecoms operator in Ireland.
* Tencent Holdings Ltd, China's largest Internet company by revenue, said it is part of a consortium that will seek for a China banking licence for online transactions and has no plans to apply for a banking licence itself.
* Guangzhou R&F Properties said contracted sales for September totalled 4.3 billion yuan ($694 million), up 64 percent from a year earlier.
* Timber products processor and distributor Greenheart Group Ltd, a unit of insolvent Chinese forestry company Sino-Forest Corp, said it has appointed Eddie Wang Tong Sai as chairman, and Paul Jeremy Brough as the interim CEO.(Reporting by Clement Tan and Lee Chyen Yee; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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