HONG KONG Nov 22 Hong Kong shares could start higher on Thursday, with a preliminary survey of November manufacturing activity in China expected at around 0145 GMT that could offer more clues on the state of the world's second-largest economy.
The U.S. Thanksgiving holiday could keep turnover in Hong Kong muted, with price movements on the day magnified by low volume.
On Wednesday, the Hang Seng Index climbed 1.4 percent, its best daily showing since Sept 14. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong jumped 1.7 percent.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.9 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.8 percent at 0053 GMT.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* China Unicom, the country's No.2 mobile operator, said on Wednesday it would pay 12.2 billion yuan ($2 billion) to its parent company for the fixed-line assets in 21 southern Chinese cities and provinces.
* Brazilian miner Vale SA's relationship with China, its most important market, had not advanced as much as the company had hoped, Chief Financial Officer Luciano Siani said Wednesday at an event in Sao Paulo.
* The European Union is ready to approve Hutchison Whampoa's 1.3 billion euro ($1.7 billion) takeover of Orange Austria, Austria's Kurier newspaper reported on Wednesday.
* Sinopec's subsidiary in Hong Kong has finalised its jet fuel term contract for next year at prices 67 to 88 percent higher than 2012, traders said on Wednesday. Sinopec (Hong Kong), a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, bought unspecified volumes of jet fuel for 2013 at a discount of about 5-10 cents a barrel on a free-on-board (FOB) Korea basis, they said.
* The global head of trading at Chinese oil trader Brightoil Petroleum has resigned, two sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, as the firm struggles with a challenging trading environment.