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Hong Kong's property developers will be in focus Friday after the city announced its first step in a policy aimed at restricting foreign buyers from purchasing property.
Property stocks dipped in Thursday's trading ahead of the speech by Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying. The sector so far is the biggest gainer among the four sectors tracked by the benchmark Hang Seng Index.
Developers gained last week in what was partly seen as a relief rally after Leung announced 10 new reforms to curb the property market, which analysts and investors decided would have minimal impact on the broader property market because most of the measures focused on the public or subsidized housing market.
Overnight, US stocks gained sharply after the European Central Bank said it will roll out an unlimited bond purchase plan to lower borrowing costs for debt-laden countries. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 28 points, or two per cent, to end at 1,432, the highest level since the onset of the financial crisis. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 66 points, or more than two per cent, to finish at 3,135.
In London, the FTSE-100 Index rose 2.1 per cent to end at 5,777. German's DAX rose 1.2 per cent to 7,167.
Factors to watch:
-- China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) approves another 30 infrastructure projects
The nation's top economic planner said overnight Thursday that it has approved another 30 projects, mainly in such areas as highway construction, port rebuilding, and sewerage treatment. It approved 25 urban railway projects worth more than 700 billion yuan on Wednesday.
-- China may lower the export rebate rate for selected industries
China is mulling on lowering export rebate rate for labour-intensive exporters such as shoe, furniture makers, which usually enjoy a relatively low tax rebate, in a bid to boost the nation's export sector, the Economic Information Daily reported Friday.
-- EU launches anti-dumping probe into China solar panel imports
The European Union launched an anti-dumping probe into Chinese solar panels on Thursday, which could lead to surging duties on made-in-China solar goods and push thousands of mainland companies closer to collapse because EU imports account for over 70 per cent of their total export volume.
-- PCCW denies media report on possible deals in Taiwan
PCCW (0008.HK) said on Thursday after the market close that the company, its subsidiaries and its chairman billionaire Richard Li are not discussing mergers or acquisitions in Taiwan. Media tycoon Li Richard Li was said to be among third parties interested in buying the Taiwan operations of Next Media (0282.HK), whose shares soared 16.4 per cent Wednesday on the rumour.