World Markets

Soft Start Predicted For China Stock Market

( - The China stock market on Monday snapped the three-day winning streak in which it risen more than 20 points or 0.8 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just beneath the 2,600-point plateau and it's expected to open in the red again on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative thanks to poor earnings news and a drop in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses are expected to follow that lead.

The SCI finished slightly lower on Monday following losses from the properties and insurance companies, while the financials and energy producers were mixed.

For the day, the index dipped 4.75 points or 0.18 percent to finish at 2,596.98 after trading between 2,591.10 and 2,630.32. The Shenzhen Composite Index dropped 4.98 points or 0.38 percent to end at 1,314.99.

Among the actives, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China shed 0.36 percent, while China Merchants Bank collected 0.49 percent, Bank of China dipped 0.28 percent, China Construction Bank lost 0.59 percent, China Life Insurance eased 0.09 percent, Ping An Insurance added 0.38 percent, PetroChina slid 0.14 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) jumped 1.46 percent, China Shenhua Energy spiked 1.80 percent, Gemdale fell 0.10 percent, Poly Developments gave away 0.49 percent and China Vanke was down 0.15 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened lower on Monday and stayed that way throughout the session, cutting into recent gains.

The Dow shed 208.98 points or 0.84 percent to 24,528.98, while the NASDAQ lost 79.18 points or 1.11 percent to 7,085.68 and the S&P 500 fell 20.91 points or 0.78 percent to 2,643.85.

The lower open followed weak earnings news from big-name companies such as Caterpillar ( CAT ) and chip maker Nvidia (NVDA).

Traders may also be reluctant to make big moves ahead of Wednesday's monetary policy decision from the Federal Reserve, although the central bank is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged after last month's rate hike.

Crude oil prices fell to a two-week low on Monday as global growth worries and recent data showing a jump in U.S. oil rigs count raised concerns about energy demand. Crude oil futures for March ended down $1.70 or 3.2 percent at $51.99 a barrel.

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