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China Stock Market May Extend Losing Streak

The China stock market has finished lower in three straight sessions, sliding more than 60 points or 1.9 percent along the way. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just beneath the 3,180-point plateau and it's looking at another soft start again on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild consolidation on weak earnings news and falling crude oil prices. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. bourses were slightly lower and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The SCI finished modestly lower on Monday as losses from the properties and oil companies were mitigated by support from the financials and insurance companies.

For the day, the index sank 10.84 points or 0.34 percent to finish at 3,177.79 after trading between 3,177.27 and 3,253.98. The Shenzhen Composite Index dropped 14.61 points or 0.84 percent to end at 1,723.91.

Among the actives, Gemdale tumbled 1.81 percent, while Poly Developments fell 0.43 percent, China Vanke lost 0.48 percent, CITIC Securities plunged 1.94 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China jumped 1.40 percent, China Merchants Bank was up 0.06 percent, Bank of China collected 0.52 percent, China Construction Bank spiked 2.08 percent, China Life Insurance climbed 1.29 percent, Ping An Insurance perked 1.52 percent, PetroChina shed 0.39 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) eased 0.17 percent and China Shenhua Energy added 0.45 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened lower on Monday; they made back ground as the day progressed but still finished slightly in the red.

The Dow shed 27.53 points or 0.10 percent to finish at 26,384.77, while the NASDAQ lost 8.15 points or 0.10 percent to 7,976.01 and the S&P 500 fell 1.83 points or 0.06 percent to end at 2,905.58.

The weakness on Wall Street reflected a negative reaction to earnings news from Goldman Sachs (GS) and Citigroup (C), while traders were reluctant to make significant moves ahead of more quarterly results in the coming days.

In economic news, the New York Federal Reserve reported that growth in regional manufacturing activity picked up somewhat in April but remained fairly subdued.

Crude oil futures edged lower on Monday on reports Russia and OPEC might increase production to boost their market share. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for May ended down $0.49 or 0.8 percent at $63.40 a barrel.

Closer to home, China will provide March data for new home prices later today; in February, prices were up 0.53 percent on month.

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