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Profit Taking Expected For Hong Kong Shares

The Hong Kong stock market has climbed higher in three straight sessions, gathering more than 290 points or 1.1 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 26,225-point plateau although it's due for consolidation on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild downside after the Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and flat and the Asian markets figure to follow suit.

The Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Thursday as gains from the oil and insurance companies were capped by weakness from the casinos and properties.

For the day, the index gained 80.03 points or 0.31 percent to finish at 26,227.72 after trading between 26,141.25 and 26,491.27.

Among the actives, AAC Technologies plummeted 7.00 percent, while Galaxy Entertainment plunged 3.80 percent, China Resources Power Holdings surged 3.53 percent, Sands China tumbled 3.41 percent, China Mobile soared 2.75 percent, Sino Land skidded 2.62 percent, WH Group spiked 2.35 percent, CNOOC jumped 2.16 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical dropped 2.13 percent, China Mengniu Dairy retreated 1.76 percent, CITIC climbed 1.32 percent, New World Development advanced 0.77 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) gathered 0.74 percent, China Life Insurance perked 0.73 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas added 0.54 percent, BOC Hong Kong shed 0.50 percent, AIA Group lost 0.39 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.37 percent, Ping An Insurance gained 0.19 percent and Tencent Holdings was up 0.07 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Thursday before finishing mixed and little changed.

The Dow added 10.92 points or 0.04 percent to 26,191.22, while the NASDAQ lost 39.87 points or 0.53 percent to 7,530.88 and the S&P 500 fell 7.06 points or 0.25 percent to end at 2,806.83.

The mixed performance on Wall Street came after the Federal Reserve announced its widely anticipated decision to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2 to 2.25 percent.

The Fed's accompanying statement noted a slowdown in the pace of growth in business investment, but the central bank reiterated further gradual increases in interest rates remain appropriate.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted a slight decrease in initial jobless claims in the week ended November 3.

Crude oil futures drifted lower on Thursday, extending losses to a ninth straight session on concerns over rising inventories and economic uncertainty. Crude oil futures for December ended down $1.00 or 1.6 percent at $60.67 a barrel, the lowest settlement price in about eight months.

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