(RTTNews) - The Hong Kong stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last four trading days since the end of the two-day losing streak in which it had stumbled nearly 200 points or 0.8 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 26,680-point plateau and it figures to be rangebound again on Tuesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is fairly rudderless, with trade uncertainties offset by rising crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were mixed but little changed and the Asian bourses are likely to follow that lead.
The Hang Seng finished slightly lower on Monday as losses from the properties and insurance companies were mitigated by mixed performances from the casinos and support from the financials and oil companies.
For the day, the index slid 9.36 points or 0.04 percent to finish at 26,681.40 after trading between 26,609.65 and 26,807.86.
Among the actives, CSPC Pharmaceutical plummeted 2.75 percent, while Techtronic Industries plunged 2.68 percent, WH Group tumbled 1.43 percent, New World Development skidded 1.17 percent, Sands China spiked 1.08 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) jumped 0.86 percent, Sun Hung Kai Properties dropped 0.78 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas climbed 0.78 percent, Galaxy Entertainment skidded 0.47 percent, AIA Group advanced 0.42 percent, BOC Hong Kong added 0.37 percent, Ping An Insurance and China Life Insurance both shed 0.32 percent, Tencent Holdings lost 0.29 percent, AAC Technologies gained 0.25 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.19 percent, CNOOC rose 0.17 percent, China Mobile eased 0.15 percent and CITIC and China Mengniu Dairy were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks showed a lack of direction on Monday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before closing mixed.
The Dow added 38.05 points or 0.14 percent to 26,835.51, while the NASDAQ lost 15.64 points or 0.19 percent to 8,087.44 and the S&P 500 fell 0.28 points or 0.01 percent to 2,978.43.
The choppy trading on Wall Street came amid a light day on the U.S. economic front, with a lack of major data keeping some traders on the sidelines.
Traders expressed some optimism about further stimulus from global central banks, with the European Central Bank expected to cut interest rates on Thursday. Expectations for another interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve next week were also bolstered by last Friday's weaker than expected jobs data.
Crude oil prices rose sharply on Monday, riding comments from Saudi Arabia that it would continue to support output cuts by OPEC and other producers. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended up $1.33 or 2.4 percent at $57.85 a barrel.
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