Hong Kong stocks are likely to rise further on Thursday with traders expecting momentum to continue after the benchmark convincingly broke through short-term chart resistance on high volumes.

The move, led by index heavyweights HSBC Holdings Plc (0005.HK) and PetroChina Co Ltd (0857.HK), lifted the Hang Seng Index to a two-month high of 24,125.6 and helped it break away from a week-long period of consolidation.

Easing fears about European debt sparked a broad rally on Wall Street with agricultural commodity-related sectors and banking shares outperforming. The S&P 500 .SPX index rose 0.9 percent as investors expected further flows into equities.

HSBC (0005.HK) rose 3.7 percent in Hong Kong on Wednesday on strong volume, with some traders citing a rotation out of Standard Chartered Plc (2888.HK).

HSBC has lagged its smaller emerging markets focused rival, which rose 13 percent in 2010 compared with a 10 percent decline for HSBC.

Traders see other laggards such as PetroChina and mainland banks catching up and lifting the market in the near-term.

China's largest lender Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC) (1398.HK) said it would not seek to raise funds from the capital market within three years, the Securities Times reported on Thursday, citing the bank's chairman. 

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei .N225 rose 0.8 percent to an eight-month high while South Korea's KOSPI .KS11 was up 0.6
percent.

STOCKS TO WATCH:

* China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd (0688.HK) said property sales in December totalled HK$8.4 billion, up 199.3 percent from a year earlier, bringing the total sales for 2010 to HK$67.1 billion, an increase of 40.4 percent from the previous year.

* PICC Property and Casualty Co Ltd (2328.HK) said its direct premiums income for 2010 totalled 153.93 billion yuan in accordance with Chinese accounting standards.

* China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) (0386.HK) is seeking to refinance up to $4.5 billion worth of bilateral bridge loans put in place last June to back its purchase of a stake in Syncrude Canada Ltd, Basis Point reported on Wednesday.

* CNOOC Ltd (0883.HK) said it was planning a notes issue, raising capital for general corporate purposes. Barclays Capital, BOC International, BofA Merrill Lynch, Citi, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan are handling the deal.

* CASH Financial Services Group Ltd (0510.HK) said it would submit an application to the stock exchange for the possible spin-off on the main board of Pricerite, which is involved in retail business in Hong Kong and China, including furniture and household items through chain stores.