August 29, 2013 / 1:06 AM / 4 years ago

Hong Kong shares may start higher, still wary on Syria

HONG KONG, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares are set to open higher on Thursday, recovering from multi-week lows after Wall Street rebounded overnight, though investors are likely to remain cautious over possible U.S.-led military action against Syria over the next week.

On Wednesday, the Hang Seng Index ended down 1.6 percent at 21,524.65, its lowest closing since July 22. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong fell 2.2 percent to its lowest since Aug. 9.

In early Asia trade, Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.4 percent, while South Korea’s KOSPI tacked on 0.7 percent at 0047 GMT.

FACTORS TO WATCH:

* China Life Insurance Co Ltd , the world’s biggest insurer by market capitalization, posted a 68 percent increase in first-half net profit, above analysts’ forecasts, on stronger investment returns and fewer impairments.

* China Minsheng Banking Corp Ltd , which is the country’s seventh-largest listed bank, said its first half net profit rose 20.4 percent to 22.9 billion yuan.

* Dairy products maker China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd posted a 16 percent rise in first half net profit to 749.5 million yuan.

* Agricultural Bank of China will see its stock of non-performing loans stabilise in the second half of the year, which will push its non-performing loan ratio down, Song Xianping, the bank’s director of risk management, said.

* Container shipping operator China Shipping Container Lines Co Ltd (CSCL) posted a 1.3 billion yuan loss for the first half of 2013.

* PetroChina’s 120,000-barrel-per-day subsidiary refinery in northwestern region of Xinjiang is undergoing a major overhaul that will end in late September, two industry officials said on Wednesday.

* Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co Ltd , China’s second-largest construction equipment maker, said its first half net profit fell 48 percent at 2.9 billion yuan.

* China State Construction Engineering Corp Ltd said its first half net profit rose 23 percent at 8.8 billion yuan.

* Jiangxi Copper Co Ltd , China’s biggest copper producer, said its first half net profit fell 52 percent at 1.24 billion yuan.

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