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Hong Kong Bourse Has Weak Lead For Thursday's Trade

The Hong Kong stock market saw renewed selling pressure on Wednesday, one session after ending the two-day losing streak in which it had stumbled more than 360 points or 2 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just beneath the 18,450-point plateau and it's tipped to open lower again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on renewed recession fears following another big rate hike from the FOMC. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The Hang Seng finished sharply lower on Wednesday following losses from the financials, properties and technology stocks.

For the day, the index tumbled 336.80 points or 1.79 percent to finish at 18,444.62 after trading between 18,434.65 and 18,638.85.

Among the actives, Alibaba Group plunged 3.65 percent, while Alibaba Health Info tanked 3.27 percent, ANTA Sports tumbled 3.20 percent, China Life Insurance shed 1.46 percent, China Mengniu Dairy dropped 1.62 percent, China Resources Land slumped 2.55 percent, CITIC added 0.38 percent, CNOOC spiked 2.18 percent, Country Garden plummeted 4.48 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical and Meituan both surrendered 2.95 percent, Galaxy Entertainment rose 0.11 percent, Hang Lung Properties was down 0.29 percent, Henderson Land lost 1.20 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas dipped 0.54 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China gave away 1.03 percent, JD.com declined 2.93 percent, Lenovo fell 1.14 percent, Li Ning skidded 2.05 percent, Longfor stumbled 2.82 percent, New World Development sank 1.51 percent, Techtronic Industries slid 1.06 percent, Xiaomi Corporation retreated 2.89 percent, WuXi Biologics weakened 2.12 percent and China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street ends up negative as the major averages were steady throughout Wednesday session until the FOMC's rate decision sent them tumbling, closing near daily lows.

The Dow plummeted 522.45 points or 1.70 percent to finish at 30,183.78, while the NASDAQ tumbled 204.86 points or 1.79 percent to close at 11,220.19 and the S&P sank 66.00 points or 1.71 percent to end at 3,789.93.

The late-day volatility came after the Fed raised interest rates by another three-quarters of a percentage point and signaled further aggressive rate hikes for the remainder of the year.

Citing its dual goals of maximum employment and inflation at a rate of 2 percent over the longer run, the Fed decided to raise its target range for the federal funds rate by 75 basis points to 3 to 3.25 percent.

The move marks the third straight 75 basis point rate hike by the Fed and lifts rates to their highest level since early 2008. With inflation remaining elevated, the Fed also said it expects that ongoing interest rate increases will be appropriate.

Crude oil prices drifted lower Wednesday amid concerns about the outlook for energy demand after the Federal Reserve's announcement of a sharp hike in interest rates raised fears about a recession. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended lower by $1.00 or 1.2 percent at $82.94 a barrel.

Closer to home, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority will conclude its policy meeting on Thursday and announce its decision on interest rates; it's expected to leave its benchmark unchanged at 2.75 percent. Hong Kong also will see August figures for consumer prices and Q2 data for current account. In July, inflation was up 0.1 percent on month and 1.9 percent on year, while the current account surplus in Q1 was HKD78.5 billion.

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