The Hong Kong stock market on Wednesday ended the three-day winning streak in which it had climbed almost 730 points or 2.6 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 28,235-point plateau and it’s likely to remain rangebound again on Thursday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky, with upside limited by political uncertainty and falling oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and little changed and the Asian bourses figure to follow that lead.
The Hang Seng finished slightly lower on Wednesday as gains from the oil companies and casinos were capped by weakness from the financials.
For the day, the index slid 41.15 points or 0.15 percent to finish at 28,235.60 after trading between 28,136.64 and 28,414.54.
Among the actives, CNOOC surged 5.48 percent, while China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) soared 5.03 percent, CITIC spiked 2.01 percent, China Mengniu Dairy plummeted 1.98 percent, Meituan plunged 1.85 percent, Alibaba Group accelerated 1.73 percent, China Resources Land tanked 1.72 percent, AAC Technologies tumbled 1.56 percent, Ping An Insurance rallied 1.35 percent, Xiaomi Corporation skidded 1.35 percent, AIA Group retreated 1.26 percent, Galaxy Entertainment jumped 1.18 percent, ANTA Sports declined 1.14 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas surrendered 1.05 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China sank 0.98 percent, BOC Hong Kong dropped 0.80 percent, Techtronic Industries climbed 0.68 percent, New World Development advanced 0.55 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical and Hang Lung Properties both shed 0.49 percent, Sands China added 0.47 percent, WuXi Biologics gained 0.20 percent, China Life Insurance lost 0.11 percent and Power Assets was unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks bounced back and forth across the unchanged line on Wednesday, finally ending mixed.
The Dow eased 8.22 points or 0.03 percent to finish at 31,060.47, while the NASDAQ added 56.52 points or 0.43 percent to end at 13,128.95 and the S&P 500 rose 8.65 points or 0.23 percent to close at 3,809.84.
The higher close by the NASDAQ and the S&P came as treasuries rebounded following recent weakness, leading to a drop in bond yields and contributed to significant strength among interest rate sensitive stocks like utilities and properties.
Buying interest was subdued as political uncertainty kept some traders on the sidelines as House Democrats impeached President Donald Trump for a second time over allegations that he incited last week’s violent attack on the U.S. Capitol building.
In economic news, the Labor Department said U.S. consumer prices increased in line with estimates last month. Also, the Federal Reserve released its Beige Book, which said economic activity has increased modestly.
Crude oil futures fell on Wednesday as concerns about the outlook for energy demand amid the continued rise in coronavirus cases and tighter restrictions on movements hurt oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February sank $0.30 or 0.6 percent at $52.91 a barrel.
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