Rally May Stall For Hong Kong Shares

By RTT News, 
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(RTTNews.com) - The Hong Kong stock market bounced right back to the upside again on Wednesday, one session after it had halted the two-day winning streak in which it had gathered more than 360 points or 1.5 percent. The Hang Seng Index settled just below the 23,550-point plateau, although some profit taking may be in order on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests little movement ahead of jobs data and the long holiday weekend in the United States. The European and U.S. markets were mixed but little changed, and the Asian markets figure to follow that lead.

The Hang Seng finished sharply higher on Wednesday following gains from the properties, financials, industrials and utilities.

For the day, the index surged 358.90 points or 1.55 percent to finish at 23,549.62 after trading between 23,293.82 and 23,576.35 on turnover of 73.32 billion Hong Kong dollars.

Among the actives, HSBC spiked 1.78 percent, while Hang Seng Bank climbed 1.34 percent, Bank of East Asia collected 1.24 percent, Hong Kong Exchanges jumped 1.8 percent, Cheung Kong surged 3.49 percent, PetroChina advanced 1.43 percent, CNOOC added 1.15 percent and China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) eased 0.14 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is ambiguous as stocks showed a lack of direction on Wednesday after ending the previous session sharply higher. In a lackluster performance, the gains still lifted the Dow and the S&P 500 to new record closing highs.

The NASDAQ edged down 0.92 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 4,457.73, while the Dow crept up 20.17 points or 0.1 percent to 16,976.24 and the S&P 500 inched up 1.30 points or 0.1 percent to 1,974.62.

The choppy trading came as traders seemed reluctant to make any significant moves ahead of Thursday's closely watched monthly jobs report. The Labor Department report, which is being released a day earlier than normal due to the July 4 holiday on Friday, is expected to show an increase of about 210,000 jobs.

Traders largely shrugged off a report from payroll processor ADP showing that private sector employment increased by much more than anticipated in the month of June. The job growth reflected the biggest monthly increase in employment since November of 2012.

Later today, Hong Kong will release May figures for retail sales and June numbers for its manufacturing PMI. Retail sales are expected to see a decline of 3.0 percent on year following the 9.8 percent drop in April. The PMI saw a score of 49.1 in May.

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