Profit Taking May Dent Hong Kong Stocks

By RTT News, 

( - The Hong Kong stock market has climbed higher now in three consecutive trading days, advancing more than 760 points or 3.2 percent en route to a three-year closing high. The Hang Seng Index closed just above the 24,140-point plateau, although now the market is overdue for a correction on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is inconclusive, thanks a mixed batch of economic data and the likelihood of profit taking to cap off a strong week. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. bourses were mixed but little changed - and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Thursday following gains from the financial shares and property stocks.

For the day, the index climbed 169.63 points or 0.71 percent to finish at 24,141.50 after trading between 24,005.25 and 24, 150.00 on turnover of 86.03 billion Hong Kong dollars.

Among the actives, Wharf Holdings jumped 2.09 percent, while HSBC collected 0.81 percent, Hutchison Whampoa climbed 0.98 percent, New World Development jumped 0.87 percent, Sino Land spiked 1.56 percent, China Resources Power tumbled 1.55 percent, PetroChina advanced 0.93 percent and China Mobile surged 1.25 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is no help as stocks showed a lack of direction on Thursday after failing to sustain an initial upward move. The choppy trading came as traders digested a mixed batch of U.S. economic data as well as the latest earnings new.

The S&P 500 inched up 0.97 points or 0.1 percent to a new record closing high of 1,987.98. On the other hand, the Dow edge down 2.83 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 17,083.80 and the NASDAQ slipped 1.59 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 4,472.11.

Early buying interest was generated by a report from the Labor Department showing that initial jobless claims unexpectedly fell to an eight-year low in the week ended July 19. With the decrease, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since the week ended February 18, 2006.

However, stocks gave back some ground following a separate Commerce Department report showing a bigger than expected drop in new home sales in June. Markit Economics also reported an unexpected slowdown in the pace of growth in U.S. manufacturing activity in July.

Traders also continued to keep an eye on the latest earnings news, leading to significant moves by a number of individual stocks, including Facebook ( FB ), Logitech (LOGI), Qualcomm (QCOM), 3M (MMM), Caterpillar ( CAT ), Ford (F), General Motors ( GM ), and United Continental (UAL).

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This article appears in: News Headlines

Referenced Stocks: CAT , FB , GM , HSBC , HUWHY

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