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Hong Kong shares may see first loss in three days

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

HONG KONG, March 7 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares may start lower on Thursday after two straight days of gains, with turnover likely subdued as investors await signs of more policy easing from Japan and Europe.

On Wednesday, the Hang Seng Index climbed 1 percent to 22,777.8, still some way off chart resistance at about 23,000, the top end of a narrow 500-point range the benchmark has traded in for more than two weeks.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.9 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.7 percent at 0100 GMT.

FACTORS TO WATCH:

* China's top economic planning agency lashed out at the world's top three iron ore miners on Wednesday, accusing them and some traders of manipulating the market to drive an 80 percent rally in ore prices in just six months.

* Power Assets Holdings Ltd, which generates and supplies electricity, said its 2012 net profit rose 7 percent to HK$9.7 billion.

* Orient Overseas (International) Ltd, which owns and operates container ships and terminals, posted a 63 percent rise in 2012 net profit to $296.4 million.

* Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world's biggest bank by market value, aims to become the clearing bank for offshore yuan business in London, the bank's President Yang Kaisheng said on Wednesday.

* Fosun International Ltd said it had, between Feb. and March 4, acquired 39.42 million shares of Shanghai Yuyuan Tourist Mart Co Ltd in the open market for 288.95 million yuan, raising its stake in the Shanghai listed unit to 20 percent from 17.26 percent.

* China Water Property Group Ltd said it expected to record a substantial increase in turnover and net profit for 2012 thanks to an increase in sales of residential properties in China and fair value gains on revaluation of investment properties.

* China Renewable Energy Investment Ltd said it was anticipating an unaudited gross impairment loss provision for the Wind Farm Assets of between HK$110 million and HK$140 million for 2012, and said the management believed that it will not bring about any material adverse effect on the normal operations and current cash position of the company.

* Shimao Property Holdings Ltd said its contracted sales value in February amounted to 3.25 billion yuan, up from 2.03 billion yuan in the same period a year ago.(Reporting by Clement Tan and Donny Kwok; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130306/hong-kong-shares-may-see-first-loss-three-days