HONG KONG Oct 15 Hong Kong shares look set to
start lower on Monday ahead of the release of China's September
inflation data later in the day that could give more clues to
the state of the slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.
The main focus this week is likely China's official
quarterly GDP data on Thursday, which is likely to confirm that
growth slowed to 7.4 percent year-on year in the third quarter.
Weekend data showed China's exports grew at roughly twice
the rate expected in September, while a deputy central bank
governor said China's fiscal and monetary stimulus would be
appropriate to counter the country's economic slowdown.
Last Friday, the Hang Seng Index rose 0.7 percent to
21.136.4, closing at its highest level in more than five months
and clocking its sixth-straight weekly gain. It rose 0.6 percent
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.2
percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.5 percent
at 0049 GMT, both weighed down by concerns about corporate
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* Chinese mobile phone and telecoms equipment maker ZTE Corp
will report a loss of as much as 1.75
billion yuan ($279 million) in the first 9 months of 2012, it
said in a preliminary results announcement on the Hong Kong
Stock Exchange on Sunday.
* China steelmaker Angang Steel Co Ltd
said on Friday it could make a loss of RMB3.17 billion ($505
million) for the first nine months of the year.
* The chief executive and chairman of Sany Heavy Equipment
International have resigned, the Chinese company said
on Friday, as the construction industry grapples with a slowdown
in the world's second-largest economy.
* Bosideng International Holdings, China's largest
maker and distributor of down clothing, is eyeing store openings
in Milan and New York if its first overseas venture in London
proves a hit with British shoppers.
* China has expressed concerns about a potential EU
investigation of telecom equipment makers Huawei and
ZTE Corp < over illegal subsidies, a
European Commission official said on Friday.
* Russian aluminium group RUSAL is looking for
Chinese partners to build a smelter in Siberia with a design
capacity of 800,000 tonnes per year.
* Sinopec Group, parent of Asia's largest refiner Sinopec
Corp, will cut the volume of crude it processes by
around 8.6 million barrels for the rest of the year on
unexpected shutdowns at two refineries in South China, trade
sources said on Friday.
* China has begun raising its stakes in major state-owned
banks such as Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of
China and China Construction Bank,
seeking to boost investor confidence in a sector that has been
weighed down by expectations of a spike in bad loans.
(Reporting by Clement Tan and Donny Kwok; Editing by Richard