Plus   Neg

Lower Open Seen For Hong Kong Stock Market

The Hong Kong stock market on Wednesday ended the two-day winning streak in which it had gathered almost 150 points or 0.5 percent. The Hang Send Index now rests just above the 30,725-point plateau, and it's likely to see further consolidation on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative thanks to renewed concern over the outlook for interest rates. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses figure to follow that lead.

The Hang Seng finished sharply lower on Wednesday following losses from the financials, properties and oil and insurance companies.

For the day, the index plunged 377.91 points or 1.20 percent to finish at 30,725.15.

Among the actives, AAC Technologies plummeted 4.10 percent, while CSPC Pharmaceutical plunged 2.73 percent, CNOOC tumbled 2.05 percent, Sun Hung Kai Properties skidded 1.89 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Mengniu Dairy both dropped 1.68 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas and Sands China both surrendered 1.32 percent, China Mobile retreated 1.25 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) slid 1.20 percent, Galaxy Entertainment shed 0.98 percent, Ping An Insurance lost 0.57 percent, New World Development fell 0.50 percent and China Life dipped 0.27 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks saw modest strength for much of Wednesday but came under pressure following the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement.

The Dow slid 119.53 points or 0.47 percent to 25,201.20, while the NASDAQ eased 8.09 points or 0.11 percent to 7,695.70 and the S&P 500 fell 11.22 points or 0.40 percent to 2,775.63.

The pullback came after the Fed announced its decision to raise interest rates by 25 basis points to a range of 1.75 to 2 percent. The rate hike was widely expected, but the Fed surprised investors by forecasting two additional rate hikes this year after previously predicting only one rate.

The central bank said data received since its May meeting indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a solid rate.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted a bigger than expected increase in producer prices in May - while core producer prices also ticked higher.

Crude oil futures rose Wednesday after energy inventories fell more than forecast. July WTI oil climbed 28 cents or 0.4 percent to settle at $66.64/bbl.

Closer to home, Hong Kong will release Q1 data for producer prices and industrial production later today. In the three month prior, producer prices climbed 3.5 percent on year, while industrial production gained 0.6 percent on quarter and 0.3 percent on year.

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