(RTTNews) – The Hong Kong stock market on Friday ended the two-day losing streak in which it had stumbled almost 400 points or 1.7 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 24,450-point plateau although it’s likely to open in the red again on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft with continued pressure expected on the technology stocks, along with concerns over the economic recovery. The European and U.S. markets were down on Friday and the Asian markets are tipped to follow that lead.
The Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Friday as gains from the financials and insurance companies were capped by weakness from the casinos and oil companies.
For the day, the index advanced 114.56 points or 0.47 percent to finish at 24,455.41 after trading between 24,295.01 and 24,501.16.
Among the actives, China Life Insurance surged 4.50 percent, while China Mengniu Dairy plummeted 3.17 percent, Wharf Real Estate plunged 2.57 percent, Ping An Insurance soared 2.39 percent, Hang Lung Properties tanked 2.16 percent, New World Development spiked 1.42 percent, CITIC tumbled 1.40 percent, AAC Technologies skidded 1.31 percent, AIA Group accelerated 1.20 percent, Galaxy Entertainment sank 0.86 percent, China Resources Land rallied 0.84 percent, CNOOC dropped 0.84 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas shed 0.53 percent, Techtronic Industries lost 0.40 percent, Tencent Holdings fell 0.38 percent, Sands China and China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) both slid 0.30 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.24 percent, Sino Land eased 0.21 percent, WH Group added 0.15 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical gained 0.13 percent, China Mobile rose 0.10 percent and BOC Hong Kong was unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks initially showed a lack of direction on Friday but fell firmly under pressure as the day progressed, extending recent losses.
The Dow dropped 244.58 points or 0.88 percent to finish at 27,657.42, while the NASDAQ skidded 117.02 points or 1.07 percent to end at 10,793.28 and the S&P 500 fell 37.54 points or 1.12 percent to close at 3,319.47. For the week, the Dow fell 0.1 percent and the NASDAQ and S&P both sank 0.6 percent.
The weakness on Wall Street was due to a continued slump by technology stocks, with tech giant Apple (AAPL) showing a significant drop. Big-name tech companies like Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL), Amazon (AMZN), and Microsoft (MSFT) also posted notable losses.
Traders also expressed concerns for the economic outlook following the Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy announcement and economic assessment. With the elections less than two months away, lawmakers seem unlikely to pass another stimulus bill to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
In economic news, the Conference Board noted a continued increase in its leading U.S. economic indicators in August. Also, the University of Michigan saw a bigger than expected improvement in consumer sentiment in September.
Crude oil futures settled higher on Friday as prices edged up following a sharp drop in U.S. crude stockpiles and OPEC’s move to press for better compliance with output cuts. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended higher by $0.14 or 0.3 percent at $41.11 a barrel.
Closer to home, Hong Kong will see August figures for consumer prices later today; in July, the inflation rate was -2.3 percent.