(RTTNews) - The Hong Kong stock market has closed lower in three straight sessions, sinking almost 500 points or 2 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just beneath the 24,700-point plateau and it figures to open under pressure again on Monday.
The global forecast continues to be soft, with continued profit taking expected following recent strength in the markets - particularly from the technology shares. The European and U.S. markets were down on Friday and the Asian bourses figure to follow that lead.
The Hang Seng finished sharply lower on Friday following losses from the casinos and properties and mixed performances from the financials and oil and insurance companies.
For the day, the index plummeted 312.15 points or 1.25 percent to finish at 24,695.45 after trading between 24,488.64 and 24,813.96.
Among the actives, Galaxy Entertainment plummeted 4.78 percent, while AIA Group plunged 3.05 percent, Tencent Holdings tanked 3.00 percent, Hang Lung Properties tumbled 2.78 percent, China Resources Land and CSPC Pharmaceutical both skidded 2.77 percent, Sands China retreated 2.33 percent, AAC Technologies declined 2.14 percent, Techtronic Industries surrendered 2.05 percent, New World Development sank 1.99 percent, WH Group dropped 1.93 percent, BOC Hong Kong shed 1.36 percent, Sun Hung Kai Properties lost 1.19 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 1.19 percent, Sino Land fell 0.88 percent, CITIC slid 0.87 percent, CNOOC dipped 0.71 percent, China Mengniu Dairy slipped 0.66 percent, Ping An Insurance was down 0.43 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) added 0.29 percent, China Mobile gained 0.28 percent, Hengan International rose 0.25 percent, Power Assets softened 0.23 percent, China Life Insurance was up 0.22 percent and Hong Kong & China Gas eased 0.18 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks suffered an early sharp move to the downside on Friday. The markets pulled well away from session lows but still finished in the red.
The Dow shed 159.39 points or 0.56 percent to finish at 28,133.31, while the NASDAQ tumbled 144.96 points or 1.27 percent to end at 11,313.13 and the S&P 500 sank 28.10 points or 0.81 percent to close at 3,426.96. For the week, the Dow shed 1.8 percent, the NASDAQ dropped 3.3 percent and the S&P fell 2.3 percent.
Technology stocks contributed to the early sell-off on Wall Street once again, as traders continued to cash in on the recent strength in the sector. At its lows of the session, the tech-heavy NASDAQ was down nearly 10 percent from the record intraday high set on Wednesday.
In economic news, the Labor Department reported another substantial increase in U.S. employment in August, although the pace of job growth continued to slow from the record spike in June.
Crude oil prices drifted lower Friday, extending recent losses amid continued concerns about the outlook for gasoline demand and easing of production cuts by leading oil producers. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures ended down $1.60 or 4 percent at $39.77 a barrel and finished lower by 7 percent for the week.
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