Rally May Stall For Hong Kong Stock Market

The Hong Kong stock market has finished higher in two straight sessions, jumping almost 500 points or 2.2 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now sits just beneath the 23,500-point plateau although investors figure to lock in gains on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild consolidation following Friday's mixed jobs report from the United States. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourse were down and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The Hang Seng finished sharply higher on Friday following gains from the financials, properties and oil companies, while the technology shares were mixed.

For the day, the index surged 420.52 points or 1.82 percent to finish at 23,493.38 after trading between 23,162.85 and 23,497.50.

Among the actives, AAC Technologies tumbled 1.81 percent, while AIA Group perked 1.57 percent, Alibaba Group soared 6.45 percent, Alibaba Health Info surged 6.98 percent, ANTA Sports plunged 3.23 percent, China Life Insurance jumped 2.28 percent, China Mengniu Dairy spiked 6.21 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) climbed 2.09 percent, China Resources Land skyrocketed 7.26 percent, CITIC increased 0.73 percent, CNOOC improved 0.59 percent, Country Garden advanced 1.51 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical gathered 1.97 percent, Galaxy Entertainment sank 0.49 percent, Hang Lung Properties accelerated 3.18 percent, Henderson Land added 1.23 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 1.56 percent, Li Ning tanked 3.13 percent, Longfor strengthened 2.69 percent, Meituan gained 0.89 percent, New World Development dipped 0.17 percent, Techtronic Industries plummeted 3.49 percent, Xiaomi Corporation rose 0.77 percent, WuXi Biologics rallied 3.06 percent and Hong Kong & China Gas and CK Infrastructure were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as the major averages opened lower on Friday and then saw wild swings both ways before finally finishing the session in the red.

The Dow dipped 4.84 points or 0.01 percent to finish at 36,231,66, while the NASDAQ sank 145.00 points or 0.96 percent to end at 14,935.90 and the S&P 500 fell 19.02 points or 0.41 percent to close at 4,677.03. For the week, the NASDAQ plunged 4.5 percent, the S&P slumped 1.9 percent and the Dow dipped 0.3 percent.

The continued pullback on Wall Street followed the release of the Labor Department's closely watched monthly jobs report. While the report showed much weaker than expected job growth in the month of December, the unemployment rate still fell by more than expected.

Economists have indicated the report is not likely to alter the Fed's plans to accelerate monetary policy normalization.

Traders subsequently seem concerned the Fed will be raising rates at a time of slowing economic growth as a result of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Friday, but still finished the week with a strong gain on supply concerns amid escalating unrest in Kazakhstan and outages in Libya. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February ended down by $0.56 or 0.7 percent at $78.90 a barrel. WTI Crude futures gained 4.9 percent in the week.

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