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Hong Kong shares may start weaker; China bank earnings in focus

Tuesday, 29 Oct 2013 | 9:14 PM ET

HONG KONG, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares may start weaker on Wednesday, with turnover crimped ahead of the outcome of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting later in the day.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, Bank of Communication and China Minsheng Bank are among companies due to report quarterly earnings later on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Hang Seng Index rose 0.2 percent to 22,846.5 points, while the China Enterprises Index of the leading Chinese listings in Hong Kong climbed 1.3 percent.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.9 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.4 percent at 0053 GMT.

FACTORS TO WATCH:

* A Chinese central bank official speaking at a closed-door meeting with domestic money dealers on Tuesday reassured them that money conditions remain ample and it will keep its short-term monetary operations stable this year, as regulators move to improve communications with investors after short-term rates rose dramatically last week.

* Asia's largest refiner, Sinopec Corp, posted a 20 percent rise in third-quarter net profit, beating forecasts, boosted by higher refining margins after China allowed domestic fuel prices to move more closely in line with global crude prices.

* PetroChina Co Ltd said net profit attributable to shareholders for the first three quarters was at 95.29 billion yuan versus 86.95 billion yuan last year.

* Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd said it expected net profit to have increased significantly in the six months ended Sept. 30 compared with a year earlier, helped by strong sales of gold products.

* China Citic Bank Corp Ltd said its January-September net profit rose 13.4 percent year-on-year to 30.9 billion yuan ($5.1 billion).

* China Merchants Bank Co Ltd said its January-September net interest income increased 10.3 percent to 72.6 billion yuan and net profit attributable to shareholders rose 13.6 percent to 39.5 billion yuan.

* Haitong Securities Co Ltd said its January-September net profit was up 51.3 percent year-on-year at 3.7 billion yuan ($608 million).

* Datang International Power Generation Co Ltd said nine-month net profit jumped 103.6 percent year-on-year to 3.7 billion yuan ($608 million) due to lower operational costs.

* Air China Ltd , the country's flag carrier, reported a 7.3 percent fall in its third-quarter profit as a slowing economy hurt business travel.

* Esprit Holdings Ltd said it has appointed Rafael Pastor Espuch as its new chief product officer. It also said total turnover for three months ended in September was HK$6.55 billion versus HK$6.60 billion a year earlier, with retail turnover falling 1.2 percent to HK$3.57 billion.

* Jiangxi Copper , China's top producer of the metal, does not expect to increase its output of refined copper in 2014 even though it has the capacity, an executive from its listed unit said on Tuesday, blaming a shortage of scrap material.

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