HONG KONG Jan 3 Hong Kong shares could open higher on Thursday, helped by positive China data and tracking strong Wall Street gains after a last-minute deal averted a fiscal crisis in the world's largest economy.
China's non-manufacturing purchasing managers' index for December came in at 56.1, surpassing the 55.6 registered in November, the country's statistics bureau said on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the Hang Seng Index climbed 2.9 percent to 23,312 points, its highest since June 2011. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings jumped 4 percent in its best daily showing in a year.
Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.2 percent at 0104 GMT. China and Japan financial markets are still closed for the New Year holiday and will resume trading on Friday.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* Asia Resources updated on its Mongolian mining license process. It also said Dampar, in which it has a 55 percent equity interest, has received a license permitting Dampar to transport and sell iron in the Indonesian province of East Java.
* Chinese property developer Country Garden said it is proposing to conduct an international offering of senior notes with a 10-year maturity.
* Chinese property developer China Aoyuan said it acquired land through a public auction at the Zhuzhou City Land and Mining Market Exchange for about $928 million on Nov. 29 last year.
* Guoco Group said the dispatch of documents for Guoline Overseas Ltd's acquisition of issued shares in Guoco Group will be delayed until April 30, 2012.
Our top photos from the past week.