Hong Kong shares may slip further from Friday highs

HONG KONG, July 3 Wed Jul 3, 2013 2:13am BST

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HONG KONG, July 3 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares could dip further from Friday highs on Wednesday after a volatile Wall Street session with turnover likely thin ahead of key U.S. data later in the week.

China's official purchasing managers' index (PMI) for its services sector dropped to 53.9 in June from May's 54.3, the government said, a sign that economic cooling is spreading across the country.

On Tuesday, the Hang Seng Index ended down 0.7 percent at 20,658.7 after starting the day up 1 percent as Hong Kong returned from a three-day holiday weekend. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong shed 1.2 percent.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.4 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was flat percent at 0103 GMT.

FACTORS TO WATCH:

* A federal judge has approved HSBC Holdings Plc's

record $1.92 billion settlement with federal and state investigators of charges that it flouted rules designed to stop money laundering and thwart transactions with countries under U.S. sanctions.

* Infant formula makers Nestle SA, Danone , Mead Johnson Nutrition Co and Abbott Laboratories confirmed on Tuesday that they are being investigated by China's top economic planning agency for possible antitrust violations. The investigations came to light after Biostime International Holdings said last Thursday that its Guangzhou unit was under investigation for an alleged violation of China anti-monopoly law.

* Hutchison Whampoa is losing patience with Telecom Italia over lack of progress on a proposed merger of their Italian mobile phone units, people familiar with the talks said, casting doubt on prospects for a deal.

* China's largest shipping group China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co, parent of the world's largest dry bulk cargo fleet operator COSCO Holdings Co Ltd has replaced its chairman in what appears to be a bid to boost profitability amid a downturn in the global shipping industry.

* Sinopec Yizheng Chemical Fibre Co Ltd said it has begun preliminary preparatory work to establish a major high-tech para-aramid fibre project with an annual production capacity of 3000 tons through self-developed technology, in a bid to enhance competitiveness.

* Guangzhou R&F Properties Co Ltd said its contracted sales for June amounted to 3.065 billion yuan, up 10.3 percent year-on-year, bringing the cumulative year-to-date contracted sales to 18.579 billion yuan, an increase of 18.3 percent from a year ago period.(Reporting by Clement Tan and Donny Kwok; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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