Hong Kong shares may stumble as China bank earnings disappoint
HONG KONG Oct 31 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares may open lower on Thursday after two of China's five biggest banks reported weaker than expected quarterly earnings.
On Wednesday, the Hang Seng Index rose 2 percent to 23,304.02 points, while the China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong climbed 2.41 percent.
In the rest of Asia equity markets were largely soft in early trade. Japan's Nikkei was down 0.3 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI declined 0.5 percent at 0003 GMT.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd posted a third-quarter net profit rise of 7.6 percent, missing estimates, due to sluggish growth in interest income.
* Bank of China Ltd , the country's fourth-biggest lender, posted a third-quarter net profit rise of 13.6 percent, beating estimates, as fee and commission income surged.
* Agricultural Bank of China Ltd said Jan-Sept net profit was at 138.04 billion yuan, up from 120.12 billion yuan a year ago.
* China's fifth-biggest lender Bank of Communications Co Ltd posted a 3.4 percent gain in third-quarter net profit, missing analyst estimates, as margins shrank and non-performing loans rose.
* Aluminum Corp of China Ltd, China's biggest aluminium producer, posted a net loss of 1.2 billion yuan ($197.04 million) for July-September, hit by a persistent supply glut and falling prices.
* CITIC Securities Co Ltd , China's biggest brokerage, posted a 136 percent rise in third quarter profit as improving investor sentiment on the mainland helped offset a long-term initial public offering (IPO) freeze.
* Tsingtao Brewery Co Ltd , the company behind China's best-known beer brand, said on Wednesday its third-quarter net profit rose 14 percent as rising beer sales and stringent cost controls helped offset higher marketing spending.
* China's Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co Ltd reported a 33.6 percent year-on-year fall in its third-quarter net profit, weighed down by a sustained slowdown in the world's largest construction machinery market.
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