Political questions will continue to offer an excuse for Hong Kong investors to lock in profit on the sidelines of China’s 18th People's Congress, although data expected to show economic improvement in the world’s second largest economy later on Friday could bolster sentiment.
Economists expect October data to be an improvement on September, and to reinforce an expectation that the economy is bottoming out. China reports October inflation at 9.30am (HKT) and fixed asset investment factory output data on Friday afternoon (1.30pm, HKT), followed by trade figures on Saturday.
Overnight, the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index closed down 17.02 points, or 1.22 percent, to close at 1,377.51. The Nasdaq Composite shed 41.70 points, or 1.42 percent, to finish at 2,895.59. In London, the FTSE-100 Index lost 15.58 points, or 0.27 per cent, to finish at 5,776.05.
Hot Stocks of the Day:
Manulife Financial (0945.HK )
The firm reported a net third-quarter loss of US$227 million. It said it generated core earnings of US$556 million and achieved its 2014 hedging targets two years ahead of schedule.
Chow Tai Fook (1929.HK )
The jeweler said that due to rapid increases in the price of gold, gold hedging losses would cause its gross first-half profit margin to fall around by 2 per cent to 3 per cent from a year earlier. Chow Tai Fook's first half ended on September 30.
Skyworth Digital (0751.HK )
The company said sales volume of LED LCD TV in October surged by 112 per cent in October from a year earlier. Total TV sales volume grew by 36 per cent year-on-year.
Lenovo (0992.HK )
The personal-computer maker said net profit for the three months through September rose 13 per cent from a year earlier, the smallest in more than two years. Lenovo Chief Executive Yang Yuanqing said subsequently that the PC business had room to grow in China.