Hong Kong shares set for flat start ahead of China Q3 GDP
HONG KONG, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares may start flat on Friday as investors brace for another batch of China data that is expected to show annual economic growth quickened in the third quarter, although doubts over the rebound in activity are expected to crimp demand.
Beijing is expected to release third-quarter GDP along with September urban investment, retail sales and industrial output at 10 a.m. local time or 0200 GMT.
On Thursday, the Hang Seng Index lost 0.6 percent at 23,094.9 points, while the China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong also shed 0.6 percent. On the week, they are down 0.5 and 0.1 percent, respectively.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei and South Korea's KOSPI were each up 0.1 percent at 0048 GMT.
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* AIA Group Ltd said the value of new business for third quarter 2013 rose 26 percent to $379 million, and added that macroeconomic fundamentals in Asia remain robust.
* Chinese computer maker Lenovo, which has signed a non-disclosure deal to examine BlackBerry's books, faces regulatory obstacles if it bids for all of the company and will likely pursue just parts, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
* Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd said group revenue grew 35 percent year on year for the quarter ended in September with China revenue growing 33 percent due to rising sales of gold products and improving wholesale business.
* Las Vegas Sands Corp said Q3 adjusted earnings per share was $0.82, Q3 revenue $3.57 billion versus I/B/E/S view $3.47 billion.
* Fosun International Ltd said it would buy One Chase Manhattan Plaza in New York for $725 million.
* Beijing Enterprises Water Group Ltd said it planned to raise HK$1.112 billion ($143.41 million)from a share sale.
* Stella International Holdings Ltd said third quarterly consolidated revenue was $473.3 million with same store sales for retail business in China up 7.3 percent to $19 million. It expects demand for its footwear products to be subdued .