Hong Kong shares seen higher, China VP growth comment helps

HONG KONG, July 23 Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:56am BST

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HONG KONG, July 23 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares may start higher on Tuesday, after China's Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli reiterated the country's commitment to steer towards consumption and to fine-tune policies to deal with any prolonged slowdown.

China will stick to its prudent monetary policy, but will take decisive measures to support reasonable infrastructure and social welfare investment to develop the export sector, service industry and small firms, Zhang told local officials on a weekend trip to Guizhou, a southwestern province.

On Monday, the Hang Seng Index ended up 0.3 percent at 21,416.5 points, trapped in the same 345-point range for the eighth straight day. The China Enterprises Index of the leading Chinese listings in Hong Kong slipped 0.4 percent.

Elsewhere in Asia at 0034 GMT, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.2 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.8 percent.

FACTORS TO WATCH:

* China is not seeing any capital flight now despite signs that global funds are exiting emerging markets on rising expectations of the U.S. tapering off its bond buying programme, China's foreign exchange regulator said on Monday.

* China's CITIC Resources Holdings Ltd, which has natural resources assets in countries such as Australia, said it is replacing its chairman with effect on Monday.

* Asia's biggest refiner Sinopec Corp saw its crude oil output in the first half of 2013 rise 1.4 percent from a year ago, it said on Monday.

* ZTE Corp is expected to post a profit for the second consecutive quarter this year as cost-cutting measures and asset sales help reverse a net 2012 loss at China's second largest telecom equipment maker.

* Agile Property Holdings Ltd said it has acquired a piece of land for commercial and residential uses in Wuxi City in Jiangsu Province for 2.04 billion yuan, a deal to be funded by internal resources.(Reporting by Clement Tan and Donny Kwok; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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