Hong Kong Shares May Take Further Damage On Thursday

(RTTNews) - The Hong Kong stock market headed south again on Wednesday, one day after ending the two-day slide in which it had slumped more than 100 points or 0.6 percent. The Hang Seng Index now sits just above the 16,530-point plateau and it's looking at another soft start again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is one of caution ahead of key U.S. inflation data later today. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The Hang Seng finished sharply lower on Wednesday following losses from the financial shares, technology stocks and energy companies, while the property sector was volatile and mixed.

For the day, the index stumbled 253.95 points or 1.51 percent to finish at 16,536.85 after trading between 16,517.84 and 16,844.33.

Among the actives, Alibaba Group dipped 1.66 percent, while Alibaba Health Info stumbled 4.21 percent, ANTA Sports tanked 4.84 percent, China Life Insurance fell 2.21 percent, China Mengniu Dairy slumped 3.21 percent, China Resources Land surrendered 4.34 percent, CITIC sank 2.46 percent, CK Infrastructure rallied 2.05 percent, CNOOC slid 2.03 percent, Country Garden plummeted 6.52 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical tumbled 4.24 percent, Galaxy Entertainment lost 2.32 percent, Hang Lung Properties eased 0.47 percent, Henderson Land surged 3.83 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas added 0.66 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China was down 0.98 percent, JD.com dropped 2.72 percent, Lenovo declined 3.25 percent, Li Ning plunged 5.63 percent, Meituan retreated 4.04 percent, New World Development soared 2.86 percent, Techtronic Industries slipped 1.12 percent, Xiaomi Corporation skidded 2.97 percent and WuXi Biologics shed 2.33 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is weak as the major averages opened sharply lower on Wednesday, pared their losses as the day progressed but still ended in the red.

The Dow shed 23.39 points or 0.06 percent to finish at 38,949.02, while the NASDAQ dropped 87.56 points or 0.55 percent and the S&P 500 sank 8.42 points or 0.17 percent to end at 5,069.76.

The early weakness on Wall Street came as traders looked to cash in on the recent strength in the markets ahead of the release of closely watched readings on consumer price inflation later today.

With Federal Reserve officials saying they need greater confidence inflation is slowing before they consider cutting interest rates, the data could have a significant impact on the outlook for rates.

In economic news, the Commerce Department said the jump by real gross domestic product in the fourth quarter was downwardly revised to 3.2 percent from the previously reported 3.3 percent.

Oil prices fell on Wednesday after data showed a much larger than expected increase in U.S. crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $0.33 or 0.42 percent at $78.54 a barrel.

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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