HONG KONG - Hong Kong shares were set for a firmer start on Monday, with large-cap energy and banking stocks poised to build on last week's big gains, as hopes for more steps from China to boost flagging growth spur investors back into the market.
The Hang Seng index snapped a three-week losing streak with Friday's 3.1 per cent jump after China's domestic markets posted their best day in eight months.
Plans to spend a total of about 1 trillion yuan (S$194.8 billion) on rail and road construction in China were approved last week, according to state media.
Data released at the weekend showed Chinese factories ran at their slowest rate for 39 months in August, while a double-digit rise in fixed asset investment showed infrastructure spending remained central to economic growth.
China is scheduled to release trade data for August that is expected to show exports grew just 3 per cent year on year. The data is expected at 0200 GMT.
News of the infrastructure stimulus in China, combined with a European Central Bank decision to launch a new and potentially unlimited bond-buying programme, has brought back equity investors, giving stock exchange volumes a much-needed boost.