Plus   Neg

China Stock Market May Snap Losing Streak

The China stock market has finished lower in back-to-back sessions, sliding more than 25 points or 0.8 percent along the way. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just above the 3,090-point plateau although it may find traction on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside after the U.S. and China signed phase one of their trade deal - although the upside had already largely been priced in. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were slightly higher and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The SCI finished modestly lower on Wednesday following losses from the properties and oil and insurance companies, while the financials came in mixed.

For the day, the index lost 16.78 points or 0.54 percent to finish at 3,090.04 after trading between 3,082.04 and 3,107.94. The Shenzhen Composite Index fell 3.92 points or 0.22 percent to end at 1,814.21.

Among the actives, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China dropped 1.01 percent, while Bank of China shed 0.54 percent, China Construction Bank fell 0.28 percent, China Merchants Bank tumbled 1.78 percent, China Life Insurance eased 0.11 percent, Ping An Insurance skidded 1.17 percent, PetroChina retreated 1.34 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) declined 0.97 percent, China Shenhua Energy plunged 1.76 percent, Gemdale sank 1.81 percent, Poly Developments was down 1.35 percent and China Vanke plummeted 2.87 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks opened higher on Wednesday, faded as the day progressed but still ended in the green.

The Dow added 90.55 points or 0.31 percent to finish at 29,030.22, while the NASDAQ gained 7.37 points or 0.08 percent to 9,258.70 and the S&P 500 rose 6.14 points or 0.19 percent to 3,289.29.

The early strength on Wall Street came as traders awaited the signing of the trade deal between the U.S. and China. But stocks pulled back after the agreement was signed in a ceremony at the White House.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted a modest increase in U.S. producer prices in December. Also, the Federal Reserve's Beige Book said U.S. economic activity generally continued to expand modestly in the final six weeks of 2019.

Crude oil prices drifted lower and settled at a six-week low on Wednesday after data showed a big increase in gasoline and distillate stockpiles last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures (WTI) for February ended down $0.42 or 0.7 percent at $57.81 a barrel.

Closer to home, China will release December numbers for new home prices later today; in November, prices added 0.3 percent on month.

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