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Lower Open Likely For Hong Kong Shares

The Hong Kong stock market headed south again on Monday, one session after it had halted the two-day slide in which it had given up more than 550 points or 2.5 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just beneath the 21,700-point plateau and it may take further damage again on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets remains negative on concerns about the effect of the coronavirus on the global economy. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses figure to open in similar fashion.

The Hang Seng finished with heavy damage across the board on Monday - particularly among the properties and casinos.

For the day, the index tanked 1,108.94 points or 4.86 percent to finish at 21,696.13 after trading between 21,659.55 and 22,064.31.

Among the actives, Techtronic Industries cratered 13.01 percent, while Hong Kong & China Gas tanked 10.34 percent, AAC Technologies plummeted 7.58 percent, Sands China plunged 7.49 percent, China Resources Land tumbled 7.35 percent, Power Assets skidded 6.58 percent, Galaxy Entertainment retreated 5.79 percent, WH Group surrendered 5.70 percent, BOC Hong Kong declined 5.56 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical sank 5.38 percent, AIA Group dropped 5.31 percent, CNOOC shed 5.05 percent, CITIC lost 4.93 percent, New World Development fell 4.64 percent, China Mengniu Dairy slid 3.83 percent, Ping An Insurance dipped 3.67 percent, China Life Insurance was down 3.58 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China lost 3.50 percent, Tencent Holdings dropped 3.23 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) fell 3.14 percent and China Mobile eased 2.65 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is soft with a dose of volatility as stocks saw wild swings again on Monday. The NASDAQ peeked into positive territory a couple of times, but all three major averages finished in the red.

The Dow sank 754.38 points or 3.93 percent to finish at 18,419.60, while the NASDAQ lost 56.67 points or 0.82 percent to 6,822.85 and the S&P 500 fell 86.44 points or 3.75 percent to 2,21848.

After opening sharply lower, the markets got a lift when the Federal Reserve announced extensive new measures to support the economy - saying that it is committed to using its full range of tools to support households, businesses, and the U.S. economy overall in this challenging time.

The measures include an unlimited expansion of the Fed's asset purchases, with the central bank saying it will purchase Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities in unspecified large amounts.

But the markets resumed their downward march in afternoon trade as the virus continues to spread.

Crude oil prices climbed higher on Monday, reacting positively to the Federal Reserve's announcement of extensive new measures to support the economy. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended up $0.73 or 3.2 percent at $23.36 a barrel.

Closer to home, Hong Kong will release Q4 data for industrial production later today; in the three months prior, production was down 0.1 percent on quarter and up 0.4 percent on year.

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