No Relief Yet For Hong Kong Stock Market

The Hong Kong stock market has finished lower in seven straight sessions, sinking tumbling more than 670 points or 2.8 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just beneath the 25,050-point plateau and it's expected to see continued selling pressure on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative on renewed COVID-19 concerns and the resulting drop in crude oil prices. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The Hang Seng finished sharply lower on Friday following losses from the technology stocks and insurance companies, while the properties and casinos offered support.

For the day, the index plunged 269.73 points or 1.07 percent to finish at 25,049.97 after trading between 24,825.43 and 25,077.15,

Among the actives, AAC Technologies rallied 1.17 percent, while AIA Group shed 0.41 percent, Alibaba Group plummeted 10.71 percent, Alibaba Health Info tanked 4.26 percent, China Life Insurance lost 0.15 percent, China Mengniu Dairy retreated 0.64 percent, China Resources Land surged 6.05 percent, CITIC was up 0.41 percent, CNOOC rose 0.50 percent, Country Garden plunged 8.91 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical dipped 0.12 percent, Galaxy Entertainment advanced 0.98 percent, Hang Lung Properties declined 1.07 percent, Henderson Land increased 0.45 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas dropped 0.51 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.24 percent, Li Ning jumped 1.18 percent, Longfor soared 2.15 percent, Meituan surrendered 1.61 percent, New World Development added 0.73 percent, Sands China spiked 1.78 percent, Sun Hung Kai Properties gained 0.65 percent, Techtronic Industries tumbled 1.67 percent, WuXi Biologics sank 0.63 percent and ANTA Sports, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) and Xiaomi Corporation were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is mixed as the Dow opened lower on Friday and stayed that way and the NASDAQ opened higher and closed at a record high. The S&P 500 opened slightly lower, bounced back and forth across the unchanged line and ended slightly in the red.

The Dow dropped 268.92 points or 0.75 percent to finish at 35,601.98, while the NASDAQ added 63.74 points or 0.40 percent to close at 16,057.44 and the S&P 500 eased 6.58 points or 0.14 percent to end at 4,697.96. For the week, the NASDAQ jumped 1.2 percent, the S&P rise 0.3 percent and the Dow lost 1.4 percent.

Renewed COVID-19 concerns weighed on cyclical stocks as a brutal fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across Europe. Austria has announced a full national COVID-19 lockdown starting today, while Germany has announced more restrictions on unvaccinated people.

The potential of more European countries reinstating full lockdowns sparked worries the pandemic could once again weigh down the global economy.

Meanwhile, the tech-heavy NASDAQ benefitted from continued strength among technology stocks following some upbeat earnings news from companies such as software firm Intuit (INTU) and cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks (PANW).

Crude oil prices plunged sharply on Friday amid rising concerns about the outlook for energy demand following a surge in COVID-19 cases and fresh restrictions in some European countries. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December settled at $75.94 a barrel, losing $2.47 or 3.2 percent.

Closer to home, Hong Kong will release October figures for consumer prices later today. In September, the annual inflation rate was 1.4 percent.

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