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Soft Start Predicted For Hong Kong Stock Market

The Hong Kong stock market has moved lower in three straight sessions, dropping almost 600 points or 2.1 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just beneath the 26,755-point plateau and it may open under pressure again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests volatility after the Federal Reserve trimmed its benchmark lending rate by 25 basis points. The European and U.S. markets finally ended mixed and little changed but the Asian bourses probably will at least open lower.

The Hang Seng finished slightly lower on Wednesday following losses from the financial shares and oil companies.

For the day, the index sank 36.12 points or 0.13 percent to finish at 26,754.12 after trading between 26,730.63 and 26,891.16.

Among the actives, AAC Technologies skyrocketed 10.17 percent, while China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) plummeted 2.06 percent, CNOOC plunged 1.40 percent, WH Group tumbled 1.37 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical skidded 1.04 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China retreated 0.94 percent, New World Development declined 0.79 percent, AIA Group climbed 0.70 percent, Techtronic Industries dropped 0.54 percent, Sands China jumped 0.53 percent, China Mobile shed 0.45 percent, Ping An Insurance collected 0.43 percent, CITIC advanced 0.40 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas added 0.38 percent, BOC Hong Kong lost 0.36 percent, Sino Land fell 0.34 percent, China Life Insurance slid 0.21 percent, Tencent Holdings was down 0.17 percent, China Mengniu Dairy gained 0.17 percent, Galaxy Entertainment rose 0.10 percent and Power Assets was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street suggests a wild ride following the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement.

The Dow added 36.28 points or 0.13 percent to 27,147.08, while the NASDAQ fell 8.62 points or 0.11 percent to 8,177.39 and the S&P 500 rose 1.03 points or 0.03 percent to 3,006.73.

The volatility on Wall Street came after the Fed revealed its widely expected decision to cut rates by another 25 basis points, lowering the target range for the federal funds rate to 1.75 to 2 percent. The latest rate cut was again attributed to the implications of global developments for the economic outlook and muted inflation pressures.

The decision to cut rates was widely expected by economists but was not without dissent from members of the Federal Open Market Committee. The Fed's economic projections suggest that the meeting participants are also divided about the outlook for interest rates.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said in his post-meeting press conference that the central bank is prepared for a more "extensive sequence of rate cuts" in the face of an economic downturn but noted that is not currently expected.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Wednesday, extending losses to a second straight session after moving surging Monday amid an escalation in geopolitical tensions after the drone attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended down $1.23 or 2.1 percent at $58.11 a barrel.

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