Soft Start Anticipated For Hong Kong Stock Market

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(RTTNews) – The Hong Kong stock market rebounded on Thursday, one day after ending the three-day winning streak in which it had climbed almost 730 points or 2.6 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just beneath the 28,500-point plateau although it may open lower again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to lower, with stimulus optimism tempered by concern over the outlook for interest rates. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Thursday as large gains from the technology stocks were offset by weakness from the casinos, properties and insurance companies.

For the day, the index jumped 261.26 points or 0.93 percent to finish at 28,496.86 after trading between 28,280.09 and 28,510.92.

Among the actives, CNOOC surged 6.23 percent, while WuXi Biologics soared 6.08 percent, Techtronic Industries plummeted 5.72 percent, Meituan spiked 5.67 percent, Alibaba accelerated 5.00 percent, Galaxy Entertainment plunged 3.08 percent, China Mengniu Dairy tanked 2.32 percent, Sands China tumbled 1.88 percent, China Life Insurance skidded 1.79 percent, Ping An Insurance retreated 1.39 percent, China Resources Land declined 1.11 percent, New World Development surrendered 1.09 percent, Xiaomi Corporation sank 1.06 percent, AAC technologies jumped 1.02 percent, CITIC and AIA Group both dropped 0.98 percent, Henderson Land shed 0.63 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) lost 0.50 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical fell 0.49 percent, BOC Hong Kong collected 0.41 percent, Sun Hung Kai Properties slid 0.28 percent, ANTA Sports added 0.23 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China was down 0.20 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas eased 0.18 percent and Power Assets and Wharf Real Estate both rose 0.12 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened higher on Thursday but faded as the day progressed and ended slightly in the red.

The Dow shed 68.95 points or 0.22 percent to finish at 30,991.52, while the NASDAQ dipped 16.31 points or 0.12 percent to end at 13,112.64 and the S&P 500 fell 14.30 points or 0.38 percent to close at 3,795.54.

Optimism about additional fiscal stimulus helped generate early buying interest as President-elect Joe Biden is expected to unveil a major coronavirus relief package with a price tag in the ballpark of $2 trillion.

Trades were also reacting to a Labor Department report showing initial jobless claims jumped to their highest level in over four months last week. Traders have viewed disappointing data as a positive for the markets as it could put further pressure on lawmakers to approve more stimulus.

The pullback by stocks seemed to coincide with an advance by treasury yields, which rebounded following remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell – who suggested that the economy could return to pre-pandemic levels sooner than feared due to unprecedented fiscal stimulus and the Fed’s aggressive intervention.

But he reiterated that the Fed does not intend to raise interest rate anytime soon and downplayed talk of the central bank tapering its bond purchases in the near future.

Crude oil prices bounced higher Thursday on hopes that big stimulus from the Biden administration and the Covid-19 vaccination drive will lift energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February ended up by $0.66 or 1.3 percent at $53.57 a barrel.

Bastion Balance Seoul, Korea.