HONG KONG Dec 28 Hong Kong shares could start higher on Friday, tracking an Asian climb on expectation of greater Japanese monetary easing, but gains on the Hang Seng Index are likely to be capped by chart resistance and come in holiday-thinned turnover.
On Thursday, the Hang Seng Index rose 0.4 percent to 22,619.8. Chart resistance is next seen around 22,800, peaks seen in July and August 2011. The benchmark is now up 0.5 percent this week and 22.7 percent on the year.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.7 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.2 percent at 0053 GMT.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* New mortgage loans drawn down in Hong Kong totalled HK$21.2 billion ($2.7 billion) in November, up 11.2 percent from a month earlier, Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) data showed on Thursday.
* China's central bank pledged to quicken the pace of reforming and opening up the country's financial sector in 2013, while preventing systemic risks.
* China has asked its energy firms to boost natural gas output and imports to counter soaring demand during the harsh winter months, the National Development and Reform Commission said.
* China's industrial output is on track to grow 10 percent this year from 2011 and the government aims for the same annual growth rate in 2013, the Xinhua news agency quoted industry minister, Miao Wei, as saying on Thursday.
* Shandong Weigao Group Medical Polymer Company Ltd announced late on Thursday the resignations of Miao Yan Guo, Wang Zhi Fan and Wu Chuan Ming as its executive directors from Dec. 27. Gong Jian Bo and Xia Lie Bo have been appointed as new executive directors.(Reporting by Clement Tan; Editing by Chris Gallagher)
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