Mild Upside Seen For Hong Kong Stock Market

The Hong Kong stock market has finished higher in three straight sessions, rallying more than 1,000 points or 4.5 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now sits just beneath the 22,690-point plateau and it's predicted to open higher on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat to higher ahead of this week's FOMC meeting. The European and U.S. markets saw mild upside and the Asian bourses are expected to open in similar fashion.

The Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Friday following gains from the financials and mixed performances from the properties and technology stocks.

For the day, the index added 122.10 points or 0.54 percent to finish at 22,688.90 after trading between 22,483.78 and 22,700.85.

Among the actives, Alibaba Group and Henderson Land both fell 0.17 percent, while Alibaba Health Info sank 0.26 percent, ANTA Sports advanced 1.22 percent, China Life Insurance retreated 0.66 percent, China Mengniu Dairy gathered 0.53 percent, China Resources Land lost 0.25 percent, CITIC gained 0.54 percent, CNOOC improved 1.39 percent, Country Garden spiked 2.01 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical rose 0.43 percent, Galaxy Entertainment increased 0.46 percent, Hang Lung Properties climbed 1.44 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas rallied 1.82 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.94 percent, JD.com soared 2.44 percent, Lenovo tumbled 2.02 percent, Li Ning jumped 1.57 percent, Meituan strengthened 1.45 percent, New World Development perked 0.41 percent, Techtronic Industries surged 3.17 percent, Xiaomi Corporation added 0.90 percent and WuXi Biologics declined 0.63 percent.

The lead from Wall Street continues to be positive as the major averages shook off early listlessness to move into the green in afternoon trade.

The Dow added 28.68 points or 0.08 percent to finish at 33,978.08, while the NASDAQ jumped 109.31 points or 0.95 percent to end at 11,621.71 and the S&P 500 rose 10.13 points or 0.25 percent to close at 4,070.56.

For the week, the NASDAQ soared 4.3 percent, the S&P 500 surged 2.5 percent and the Dow jumped 1.8 percent.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders looked ahead to the Federal Reserve's highly anticipated monetary policy meeting this week. The Fed is widely expected to slow the pace of interest rate hikes to 25 basis points, but traders will look to the accompanying statement for clues about the outlook for further rate hikes.

In economic news, the Commerce Department said personal income increased in line with estimates in December, while personal spending eased in line with expectations. The report also said core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, rose more than expected.

A separate report from the National Association of Realtors showed an unexpected rebound in pending home sales in December, while the University of Michigan upwardly revised its reading on consumer sentiment in January.

Crude oil prices fell Friday amid uncertainty about the outlook for oil demand. Profit taking after recent gains and indications that oil supply from Russia will surge also weighed on oil prices. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for March sank $1.33 or 1.6 percent at $79.68 a barrel. WTI crude futures shed 2.4 percent in the week.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

Follow RTT