Hong Kong Bourse Draws Soft Lead For Monday

(RTTNews.com) - The Hong Kong stock market on Friday snapped the two-day losing streak in which it had stumbled almost 275 points or 1.1 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 25,500-point plateau although it may turn lower again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky, with limited bargain hunting and thin trade expected before the New Year holiday. The European markets were up on Friday and the U.S. bourses were mixed and little changed - and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The Hang Seng finished slightly higher on Friday as gains from the financials and casinos were offset by weakness from the oil companies and properties.

For the day, the index added 25.32 points or 0.10 percent to finish at 25,504.20 after trading between 25,416.36 and 25,600.250.

Among the actives, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) plummeted 5.09 percent, while CSPC Pharmaceutical surged 4.66 percent, Hang Lung Properties soared 2.03 percent, CNOOC spiked 1.87 percent, Galaxy Entertainment jumped 1.46 percent, New World Development tumbled 1.34 percent, Ping An Insurance skidded 0.94 percent, Sands China climbed 0.90 percent, WH Group dropped 0.85 percent, China Mobile lost 0.74 percent, AIA Group advanced 0.71 percent, Sino Land shed 0.45 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas fell 0.25 percent, China Life Insurance added 0.25 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.18 percent, BOC Hong Kong rose 0.17 percent, Tencent Holdings was up 0.13 percent and CITIC Limited and Hengan International were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is mixed as stocks saw continued volatility with wild swings on Friday before ending mixed and little changed.

The Dow shed 76.42 points or 0.33 percent to 23,062.40, while the NASDAQ added 5.03 points or 0.08 percent to 6,584.52 and the S&P 500 fell 3.09 points or 0.12 percent to 2,485.74. For the week, the Dow jumped 2.7 percent, the NASDAQ soared 4 percent and the S&P gained 2.9 percent.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders took a breather following the volatility in the past few sessions. Stocks moved sharply lower over much of the trading session on Friday before surging in the final hour of trade.

In economic news, the National Association of Realtors noted a continued drop in pending home sales in November. Also, MNI Indicators said growth in Chicago-area business activity pulled back less than expected in December.

Crude oil futures ended higher Friday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration noted a less than expected decline in stockpiles last week. Crude oil futures for February ended up $0.72 or 1.6 percent at $45.33 a barrel.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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