Hopes for US rate cut should keep the bulls charging Hong Kong stocks last week put a pretty bow on an otherwise ugly month of trading. That optimism should carry through to this week, particularly in certain sectors. A lot of the market's fortunes this week are riding on hopes for a further cut in US interest rates when Washington's central bankers meet next Tuesday. The US economy continues to suffer as weaker housing prices have dulled consumer appetite and the credit crisis shakes the markets. Property stocks are the likeliest winners this week, with Hong Kong interest rates probably to follow those in the United States. The Bank of England will also be under pressure to cut interest rates when it meets at midweek as the British economy heads into a slowdown and housing prices fall at the fastest rate in 12 years. It could also pay off to watch the renewable energy sector this week. The United Nations Conference on climate change kicks off in Bali today and Australia's new prime minister's promise to ratify the Kyoto Protocol points to new demand for clean-energy technology. Many of those clean-energy companies come from the mainland, even if they are listed overseas. Good news from Bali should mean good news for anyone owning shares of companies that make wind turbines, solar panels and other green technology. Opec output in focus Who wouldn't want to tap into some renewable energy with oil trading near US$90 a barrel? Before a meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Abu Dhabi this Wednesday, a Reuters poll shows market watchers predicting an increase in oil production. Even though Opec increased the flow of oil in September, a series of supply crises and continued strong demand have kept prices at record highs. Beijing will be releasing a flood of economic data this week. As always, investors will be watching the numbers for signs of increasing inflationary pressure and overheating. November consumer price index and trade data will be released tomorrow, retail sales statistics on Wednesday, industrial output numbers on Thursday and fixed asset investment figures on Friday. Dongyue pricing ominous Does Dongyue Group's failure to price its shares at the top of the range mark the peak of the crazy initial public offering market? Dongyue, a maker of refrigeration fluid, last week priced its shares at HK$2.16, towards the low end of the HK$2.05 to HK$2.63 per share range. Shares are set to begin trading next Monday. It certainly should be enough to make companies planning a debut in the near future take a second look at market conditions before plunging in. BYD Electronics also has had to lower its expectations, cutting its target price range. The next few deals could confirm the trend if they follow suit. Smooth ride for China Railway Shares of China Railway Group are still poised to make a splash in Shanghai today after the company raised about US$3 billion in the eighth biggest domestic listing. The main builder of the country's expanding rail network will launch another US$2.5 billion worth of shares in Hong Kong on Friday. The offering has been hugely popular with the public, promising a frenzy on the first trading day. Other deals under way include China National Materials (Sinoma), which will take its US$700 million offering on the road this week. Xiashun Holdings, the mainland's largest light-gauge aluminium foil maker, will open its HK$2.13 billion offering to the public on Wednesday. Further afield, mainland advertising network VisionChina will be pricing its Nasdaq listing on Wednesday to raise about US$100 million.