HONG KONG, April 26 Hong Kong shares could
extend this week's gains on Friday, tracking a Wall Street rise
after surprisingly resilient U.S. labour data and as physical
commodity prices recovered further after their recent selloff.
Quarterly corporate earnings will stay in focus, with a
flurry of Chinese financial companies due to report later in the
day, including "Big Four" banks Industrial and Commercial Bank
of China and China Construction Bank.
The Hang Seng Index ended up 1 percent at 22,401.2 on
Thursday, its highest close since March 27. The China
Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong
Kong climbed 1.3 percent. On the week, they are now each up 1.8
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.1 percent
while South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.1 percent at 0027
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* China will speed up the establishment of a regulatory
system for local government debt financing while strengthening
prevention of potential financial risks, state TV reported a
meeting of the country's top decision-making body, the
politburo, as announcing on Thursday.
* Chinese bond market authorities will suspend new account
openings by non-bank financial institutions, the latest move in
a growing crackdown on self-dealing in China's fast-growing bond
market, multiple sources told Reuters on Thursday.
* Bank of China , the country's No.4
lender, reported earnings in line with expectations on Thursday,
as income from fees and commissions helped to offset weaker loan
growth in a slowing economy.
* China's Baoshan Iron & Steel (Baosteel), the
country's largest listed steelmaker, posted a 33 percent rise in
first-quarter net profit, boosted by improving demand for steel.
* China Life Insurance Co Ltd , the
world's biggest insurer by market value, posted a 79.1 percent
increase in its first-quarter net profit, boosted by an increase
in investment yield and a decrease in impairment losses.
* AIA Group Ltd, Asia's No. 3 insurer, posted a 25
percent increase in the value of its new business in the first
quarter of 2013.
* PetroChina , China's dominant
oil and gas producer, reported an 8 percent fall in
first-quarter profit, weighed down by lower realised crude
prices and further losses at its natural gas import business.
* Sinopec Corp, Asia's largest refiner, posted a
25 percent rise in first-quarter profit as improved refining
margins offset lower profits from exploration and production.
* Baidu Inc, China's largest search engine, posted
its slowest profit growth in more than four years, missing Wall
Street targets as higher traffic acquisition costs ate into
profit margins and the company consolidated results from its
money-losing online video unit.
* Wynn Resorts Ltd, parent of Wynn Macau,
posted a first-quarter profit that handily beat Wall Street
expectations as operating margins got a boost from a drop in
general and administrative expenses and entertainment and retail
* SAIC Motor Corp, China's largest automaker by
sales, reported an 11 percent rise in first-quarter earnings, on
solid vehicle sales amid a recovering economy.
* Chinese carmaker BYD Co Ltd , backed
by U.S. billionaire Warren Buffett, sees first-half earnings up
as much as 30 times on strong car sales and a big contribution
from its cell phone unit.
* Air China Ltd, Asia's second-largest airline by
market value, posted a 4 percent rise in first-quarter net
profit after the market close on Thursday.
* China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd , the
country's second-biggest mobile phone operator, posted an 89
percent rise in net profit for the January-March period due to a
rising number of subscribers spending more on data.