Soft Start Predicted For Hong Kong Shares

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(RTTNews) – The Hong Kong stock market on Monday ended the two-day winning streak in which it had gathered more than 170 points or 0.9 percent. The Hang Seng Index now sits just above the 17,930-point plateau and it’s tipped to open under pressure again on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement later this week. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were barely higher and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The Hang Seng finished sharply lower on Monday following losses from the financial shares, properties and technology stocks.

For the day, the index plunged 252.34 points or 1.34 percent to finish at 17,930.34 after trading between 17,894.81 and 18,114.82.

Among the actives, Alibaba Group declined 2.38 percent, while Alibaba Health Info retreated 2.35 percent, ANTA Sports rose 0.11 percent, China Life Insurance lost 0.99 percent, China Mengniu Dairy plummeted 3.62 percent, China Resources Land plunged 3.45 percent, CITIC slumped 2.09 percent, Country Garden tumbled 2.42 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical added 0.51 percent, ENN Energy gained 0.17 percent, Galaxy Entertainment jumped 1.78 percent, Hang Lung Properties sank 1.33 percent, Henderson Land stumbled 1.96 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas dipped 0.54 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China shed 1.32 percent, tanked 2.89 percent, Lenovo and Xiaomi Corporation both surrendered 2.45 percent, Li Ning fell 0.69 percent, Meituan skidded 1.85 percent, New World Development dropped 1.77 percent, Techtronic Industries was down 0.59 percent, WuXi Biologics slid 0.68 percent and CNOOC and CK Infrastructure were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little guidance as the major averages opened lower on Monday, bounced higher to spend most of the day in the green but faded late to end barely above the unchanged line.

The Dow added 6.06 points or 0.02 percent to finish at 34,624.30, while the NASDAQ rose 1.90 points or 0.01 percent to close at 13,710.24 and the S&P 500 perked 3.21 points or 0.07 percent to end at 4,453.53.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement on Wednesday.

The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, but traders will pay close attention to the accompanying statement and the central bank’s projections for clues about the outlook for rates.

On the U.S. economic front, the National Association of Home Builders released a report showing homebuilder confidence in the U.S. has unexpectedly deteriorated in September.

Oil futures settled higher on Monday, rising for a third straight session on global supply issues and a weaker dollar. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October rose $0.71 or 0.8 percent at $91.48 a barrel, the highest settlement this year.

Closer to home, Hong Kong will see unemployment data for August later today, with forecasts suggesting no change in the jobless rate at 2.8 percent.