(RTTNews) – The Hong Kong stock market turned lower again on Friday, one day after ending the two-day losing streak in which it had tumbled almost 600 points or 3.8 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 15,530-point plateau although it’s expected to bounce higher again on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat following strong U.S. employment data, even though it dims the possibility of an interest rate hike next month. The European markets were mixed and flat and the U.S. bourses were up and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.
The Hang Seng finished slightly lower on Friday as losses from the technology stocks were mitigated by support from the property sector.
For the day, the index sank 32.64 points or 0.21 percent to finish at 15,533.56 after trading between 15,435.85 and 15,912.61.
Among the actives, Alibaba Group skidded 0.49 percent, while Alibaba Health Info plunged 2.73 percent, ANTA Sports surged 2.15 percent, China Life Insurance stumbled 1.32 percent, China Mengniu Dairy dropped 0.34 percent, China Resources Land and CK Infrastructure both rallied 1.08 percent, CITIC slumped 0.94 percent, CNOOC gained 0.42 percent, Galaxy Entertainment advanced 0.70 percent, Hang Lung Properties rose 0.33 percent, Henderson Land climbed 0.73 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas fell 0.18 percent, JD.com tumbled 1.71 percent, Lenovo tanked 2.45 percent, Li Ning added 0.57 percent, Meituan declined 1.33 percent, New World Development surrendered 2.14 percent, Techtronic Industries spiked 1.23 percent, Xiaomi Corporation retreated 1.45 percent, WuXi Biologics plummeted 20.66 percent and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Country Garden and CSPC Pharmaceutical were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is strong as the major averages opened mixed on Friday but consistently trended upward and finished well into the green, with the Dow and the S&P 500 reaching new record closing highs.
The Dow climbed 134.62 points or 0.35 percent to finish at 38,654.42, while the NASDAQ surged 267.35 points or 1.74 percent to end at 15,628.95 and the S&P 500 jumped 52.42 points or 1.07 percent to close at 4,958.61. For the week, the NASDAQ shot up 1.1 percent, while the Dow and the S&P 500 both jumped 1.4 percent.
The extended rally on Wall Street came amid a positive reaction to earnings news from Facebook parent Meta Platforms (META) and online retail giant Amazon (AMZN).
Traders were also reacting to the closely watched report from the Labor Department showing much stronger than expected job growth in January.
The data further reduces the chances of an interest rate cut in March, but a strong jobs market is viewed as a good thing for the stock market and the economy.
Oil prices fell sharply on Friday as hopes of an early rate cut by the Federal Reserve faded after data showed a bigger than expected increase in U.S. non-farm payroll employment in January. The dollar’s sharp uptick after the jobs data also weighed on oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended down $1.54 or about 2.1 percent at $72.28 a barrel. The contract shed more than 7 percent in the week.