HONG KONG Nov 16 Hong Kong shares could end on
a softer note on Friday, putting in a second straight week of
losses as uncertainty over Europe's debt crisis, U.S. fiscal
woes and China's economy prompt the market to retreat further
from 2012 highs marked in early November.
On Thursday, the Hang Seng Index shed 1.6 percent to
21,108.9, its lowest since Oct. 11 and below chart resistance of
about 21,200, the 23.6 percent Fibonacci retracement of its rise
from September lows to November highs, pointing to further
The Hang Seng Index is now down 1.3 percent on the
week. It dived 3.3 percent last week.
The Hang Seng Index manager will publish the results of its
quarterly review of the Hong Kong benchmark, after markets close
on Friday in which it may add or exclude constituents.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 1.4
percent, while South Korea's was down 0.4 percent at
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* China will cut gasoline and diesel prices by about 3
percent from Friday in response to declines in international
crude oil prices, dealing another blow to loss-making refineries
in the world's second-largest oil consumer. It was the fourth
cut in fuel prices this year.
* Combined profits at China's state-owned non-financial
enterprises fell 8.3 percent in the first 10 months of 2012 from
a year earlier, slower than an annual fall of 11.4 percent in
the January-September period, the Ministry of Finance said on
* Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd said its freight
traffic rose 1.9 percent year-on-year in October, driven by the
launch of a number of new hi-tech consumer products out of key
manufacturing centres in the region.
* Macau's biggest casino operator, SJM Holdings Ltd
, controlled by the family of gambling tycoon Stanley
Ho, posted a 41 percent rise in third-quarter net profit, buoyed
by a larger number of mass market Chinese gamblers.
* China plans to triple its current subsidy for coalbed
methane gas production to 0.60 yuan per cubic metre to encourage
the development of the sector, the Shanghai Securities News
reported on Friday, citing a government official.
* Manulife Financial Corp is increasing
its dependence on Asia as a means to reach a C$4 billion core
profit goal by 2016 and promises a departure from the volatile
earnings that have plagued recent quarters.
* Nexen Inc's shares jumped nearly 3 percent on
Thursday after a report suggested Ottawa might speed up its
decision on whether to allow a $15.1 billion takeover of the
Canadian oil producer by China's state-owned CNOOC Ltd
* China Coal Energy Co Ltd said its coal sales
volume rose 4.2 percent in October to 11.78 million tonnes while
its commercial coal production volume fell 0.1 percent to 8.55
million tonnes.(Reporting by Clement Tan and Donny Kwok; Editing by Edwina