HONG KONG, April 18 Hong Kong shares could start weaker on Thursday on their way to a fifth daily loss, tracking Wall Street declines ahead of China's home price data due shortly after the market open.
Chinese banks must rate their clients' risk of criminal conduct on a scale of 1-5 as part of the central bank's moves to curb money laundering and fraudulent transactions estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars a year.
On Wednesday, the Hang Seng Index closed down 0.5 percent at 21,569.7. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong fell 1.2 percent.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.9 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.5 percent at 0105 GMT.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* More than 200 striking dock workers camped outside the headquarters of Asia's richest man Li Ka-shing on Wednesday, pressing demands for a pay rise at a port operated by Hongkong International Terminals (HIT), a unit of Li's Hutchison Whampoa , that has disrupted traffic in the world's third-largest container port.
* Iron-ore output at Brazilian global miner Vale SA fell 3.5 percent in the first quarter on declining ore quality and licence delays at old mines, the company said on Wednesday.
* Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd said its freight traffic fell 5.3 percent year-on-year in March due to a slow recovery in demand after the extended closure of factories over the Lunar New Year period in February.
* The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said vehicle sales in China in March rose 10.7 percent from a year earlier.
* Sinofert Holdings Ltd said its unit Sinochem Fertilizer Co Ltd planned to issue 1 billion yuan ($162 million) first tranche of short-term commercial paper for 2013.
* Shun Tak Holdings Ltd said it would buy an office building in Dong Cheng District in Beijing for 1.29 billion yuan.
Our top photos from the past week.