Market Open: Hang Seng expected to remain flat
The Hang Seng index is seen to remain flat at its 19-month high levels on Thursday. This after surging more than 600 points to breach 23,000 for the first time since June 2011 on Wednesday - as investors lock in some profits for near-term gains.
Things to watch include China's non-manufacturing PMI for December, which is due to be released at 9am (HK time). This has risen for the previous two months. China's manufacturing PMI for December held at 50.6 in December - remaining positive for the third month.
Overnight, both United States and European markets surged after the US approved a deal to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff", avoiding soaring tax increases and spending cuts which could plunge it into recession.
Growth sensitive sectors that have been underweight last year, such as banks and manufacturers of industrial goods, may see continued fund inflows, after fund managers shifted their portfolios at the beginning of the new year.
As for individual stocks, China Resources Cement (1313.HK) said it has purchased a local cement producer in southern Hainan province for 53 million yuan. North Mining Shares Company (0433.HK) is in talks with a third party regarding a substantial acquisition, which it is not yet to be able to disclose.