(RTTNews) - The Hong Kong stock market on Tuesday ended the two-day winning streak in which it had jumped more than 750 points or 3 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 25,485-point plateau although it may tick higher again on Wednesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat to higher, nudged into the green by gains in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and little changed and the Asian bourses are likely to follow suit.
The Hang Seng finished modestly lower on Tuesday as losses from the properties and technology stocks were mitigated by support from the casinos and insurance companies.
For the day, the index lost 65.36 points or 0.26 percent to finish at 25,486.22 after trading between 25,352.26 and 25,621.08.
Among the actives, AAC Technologies plummeted 7.36 percent, while China Resources Land plunged 2.82 percent, Galaxy Entertainment surged 2.30 percent, Sands China soared 2.23 percent, Wharf Real Estate tanked 1.77 percent, CNOOC spiked 1.56 percent, Sino Land accelerated 1.29 percent, China Mobile tumbled 1.19 percent, Power Assets rallied 1.02 percent, Hang Lung Properties jumped 0.92 percent, Techtronic Industries climbed 0.87 percent, AIA Group skidded 0.83 percent, China Mengniu Dairy retreated 0.70 percent, Tencent Holdings declined 0.64 percent, New World Development surrendered 0.61 percent, WH Group sank 0.44 percent, CITIC dropped 0.40 percent, China Life Insurance advanced 0.32 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) shed 0.28 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical lost 0.25 percent, BOC Hong Kong collected 0.22 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas and Ping An Insurance both rose 0.18 percent and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China was unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks moved higher on Tuesday, although the Dow eventually slipped into the red while the NASDAQ and S&P 500 hit fresh record closing highs.
The Dow shed 60.02 points or 0.21 percent to finish at 28,248.44, while the NASDAQ added 86.75 points or 0.76 percent to end at 11,466.47 and the S&P 500 rose 12.34 points or 0.36 percent to close at 3,443.62.
The drop by the Dow came as Exxon Mobil (XOM), Raytheon (RTX) and Pfizer (PFE) tumbled on the news they're being removed from the blue chip index. Those three stocks will be replaced by Salesforce.com (CRM), Honeywell (HON), and Amgen (AMGN), which rallied.
Traders were also looking ahead to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's speech at the Jackson Hole symposium on Thursday. Analysts suggest Powell will signal an increased tolerance for higher inflation, with some predicting he will call for a shift to average inflation targeting rather than the long-standing 2 percent target.
In economic news, the Commerce Department reported a bigger than expected spike in new home sales last month - while a separate report from the Conference Board showed its consumer confidence index slumped again in August.
Oil prices moved higher on Tuesday, fueled by storm-driven production cuts on the U.S. Gulf Coast as traders look ahead to weekly inventory data. West Texas Intermediate crude futures jumped 73 cents or 1.7 to $43.35 a barrel.
Closer to home, Hong Kong will see July figures for imports, exports and trade balance later today. In June, imports shed 7.1 percent on year and exports dropped 1.3 percent for a trade deficit of HKD33.3 billion.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.