The long-awaited link between Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges formally kicks off Monday, with Japanese third quarter growth figures and more China economic snapshots also taking center stage.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS REPORTER, TARA JOSEPH, SAYING: "The week kicks off with a flurry of activity." On Monday (NOV 17) it's the launch of Hong Kong-China stock connect. The long-awaited link between the two big exchanges is seen as a crucial step towards opening China's capital markets. With stock connect, China's retail investors can buy foreign shares directly for the first time. The program could also boost the average daily value of Hong Kong stock trading close to 38 percent by next year. Japan will post third quarter economic growth figures on the same day, and the data is expected to show that activity picked up after a painful contraction in the previous quarter. Japan's economic numbers are being closely monitored as a move to re-inflate and reboot economic growth under Prime Minister Abe which has lagged in recent months. On Tuesday (NOV 18), China's latest house price data will be closely watched for signs of whether this key sector in the world's second-largest economy is continuing to cool. Chinese home prices have fallen for five straight months. Analysts will be on watch to see whether recent mortgage rate cuts and down payment levels are providing a much needed boost. Another key economic snapshot from China on Thursday (NOV 20) with China's flash PMI - a private sector reading of the country's manufacturing sector. A survey compiled by HSBC and Markit data posted a three-month high in its final reading for October. But analysts are still concerned that overall, China's mammoth manufacturing sector remains weak as we head into the final weeks of the year.