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Hong Kong Stock Market May Extend Thursday's Losses

The Hong Kong stock market on Thursday ended the two-day winning streak in which it had advanced almost 280 points or 1.2 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 24,710-point plateau and it's expected to see continued consolidation on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly negative following a record drop in U.S. GDP, denting hopes for a quick economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets are predicted to open in the red.

The Hang Seng finished modestly lower on Thursday as losses from the financials and oil and insurance companies were tempered by support from the properties and casinos.

For the day, the index lost 172.55 points or 0.69 percent to finish at 24,710.59 after trading between 24,616.05 and 25,197.31.

Among the actives, CSPC Pharmaceutical surged 5.10 percent, while New World Development soared 2.87 percent, China Life Insurance plummeted 2.61 percent, AIA Group plunged 2.41 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas spiked 2.21 percent, CITIC tanked 1.62 percent, Sun Hung Kai Properties accelerated 1.57 percent, Sands China jumped 1.54 percent, AAC Technologies climbed 1.45 percent, Tencent Holdings tumbled 1.20 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China skidded 1.06 percent, CNOOC retreated 0.94 percent, China Resources Land declined 0.92 percent, Ping An Insurance surrendered 0.78 percent, WH Group advanced 0.73 percent, China Mobile lost 0.65 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) sank 0.58 percent, China Mengniu Dairy dropped 0.54 percent, Wharf Real Estate shed 0.36 percent, BOC Hong Kong lost 0.23 percent, Galaxy Entertainment added 0.19 percent, Power Assets gained 0.12 percent, Techtronic Industries eased 0.06 percent and Hang Seng Bank was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is mostly soft as stocks opened lower on Thursday and mostly stayed that way, although the NASDAQ managed to climb into the green.

The Dow shed 225.92 points or 0.85 percent to finish at 26,313.65, while the NASDAQ added 44.87 points or 0.43 percent to end at 10,587.81 and the S&P 500 lost 12.22 points or 0.38 percent to close at 3,246.22.

The early sell-off on Wall Street came following a report from the Commerce Department report showing a record contraction in U.S. economic activity in the second quarter. Consumer spending led the decrease as the coronavirus-induced lockdowns forced consumers to stay at home.

A separate report from the Labor Department showed initial jobless claims increased for the second straight week in the week ended July 25th.

Crude oil futures settled lower on Thursday as worries about energy demand outlook resurfaced after data showed a sharp contraction in U.S. GDP and an uptick in unemployment claims and amid a continued surge in coronavirus cases across the world. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended lower by $1.35 or 3.3 percent at $39.92 a barrel.

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