Hong Kong shares to start weaker, China data looms

HONG KONG, July 8 Mon Jul 8, 2013 2:15am BST

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HONG KONG, July 8 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares could start the week weaker on Monday, with high dividend stocks coming under some pressure after U.S. Treasury bond yields ended last week at near two-year highs after positive U.S. jobs data.

Investors will also be watching a slew of monthly economic data from China. Beijing is due to post June loan growth and money supply data from Monday, inflation on Tuesday and trade on Wednesday.

After markets in the mainland shut last Friday, China said on Friday it would cut off credit to force consolidation in industries plagued by overcapacity as it seeks to end the economy's dependence on extravagant investment funded by cheap debt.

In a statement from the State Council, or cabinet, Beijing laid out broad plans to ensure banks support the kind of economic rebalancing China's new leadership wants as it looks to focus more on high-end manufacturing.

Last Friday, the Hang Seng Index rose 1.9 percent at 20,854.7 points, eking out a 0.2 percent gain last week. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 2.1 percent on Friday, but slid 1.1 percent on the week.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 1.1 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.1 percent at 0108 GMT.

FACTORS TO WATCH:

* China's Finance Ministry has told central government agencies to cut expenditures by 5 percent this year, a move the official Xinhua news agency said was part of an austerity campaign launched by the country's new leaders.

* Asia's biggest refiner Sinopec Corp will export no diesel for a third month in July, and may also skip shipments in August, industry sources with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.

* Gold retailers such as Chow Tai Fook and Luk Fook after China's May gold imports from Hong Kong jumped more than a third from the previous month as lower prices attracted buyers in the world's second biggest bullion consumer.

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