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Renewed Support Tipped For Hong Kong Bourse

The Hong Kong stock market on Thursday halted the two-ay winning streak in which it had spiked more than 850 points or 3.1 percent. The Hang Seng Index settled just above the 27,825-point plateau, although the market may rebound on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside, again thanks to generally upbeat earnings news. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were barely higher - and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

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

For the day, the index lost 106.15 points or 0.38 percent to finish at 27,827.70 after trading between 27,804.03 and 28,213.63 on turnover of 191.77 billion Hong Kong dollars.

Among the actives, CKH Holdings shed 1.32 percent, while HSBC collected 0.50 percent, Hang Seng Bank climbed 1.97 percent, Sun Hung Kai Properties dropped 1.11 percent, Sino Land tumbled 2.27 percent, Want Want China surged 4.83 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) added 0.71 percent, Hong Kong Exchanges advanced 0.82 percent, Ping An Insurance dropped 3.02 percent and Sands China retreated 2.45 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks shrugged off early volatility to move mostly higher on Thursday. With the upward move, the tech-heavy NASDAQ hit a new record closing high.

While the NASDAQ rose 20.89 points or 0.4 percent to 5,056.06, the Dow inched up 20.42 points or 0.1 percent to 18,058.69 and the S&P 500 added 4.97 points or 0.2 percent to 2,112.93.

The strength on Wall Street reflected a positive reaction to the latest batch of earnings news from big-name companies, including AT&T (T) and eBay (EBAY) - although the numbers from General Motors (GM) and 3M (MMM) disappointed.

Traders also expressed optimism that the Federal Reserve will delay its planned increase in interest rates following disappointing housing data from the Commerce Department.

A separate report from the Labor Department showed an unexpected uptick in initial jobless claims in the week ended April 18, although claims remained below 300,000.

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