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Officials' Comments May Continue To Lift China Shares

(RTTNews) - The China stock market has moved higher in two of three trading days since the end of the two-day losing streak in which it had retreated more than 60 points or 2.3 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just above the 2,550-point plateau and it may move higher again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat, with support from oil prices offsetting weakness among the technology stocks. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and little changed - and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The SCI finished sharply higher on Friday following gains from the financials and oil and insurance companies.

For the day, the index soared 64.05 points or 2.58 percent to finish at 2,550.47 after trading between 2,449.20 and 2,553.39.

Among the actives, China Merchants Bank perked 4.70 percent, while Industrial and Commercial Bank of China climbed 2.43 percent, Bank of China jumped 2.56 percent, China Construction Bank advanced 3.71 percent, China Life Insurance surged 4.06 percent, Ping An Insurance soared 5.08 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) added 1.61 percent, PetroChina gained 1.79 percent, Baoshan Iron gathered 3.20 percent and China Shenhua Energy collected 2.83 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is uninspired as stocks failed to sustain an early move to the upside on Friday, eventually ending mixed.

The Dow added 64.89 points or 0.26 percent to 25,444.34, while the NASDAQ shed 36.11 points or 0.48 percent to 7,449.03 and the S&P fell 1.00 point or 0.04 percent to 2,767.78. For the week, the NASDAQ fell 0.6 percent, while the Dow rose 0.4 percent and the S&P 500 was nearly flat.

Early buying interest was generated by China when the heads of the People's Bank of China, the Securities Regulatory Commission and the Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission all issued statements of support for the markets following disappointing data and heavy selling.

A positive reaction to upbeat earnings news from big-name companies such as Procter & Gamble (PG), American Express (AXP) and Honeywell (HON) also contributed to the early strength.

Traders were reluctant to make more significant moves, however, as concerns about rising interest rates and tension between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia continued to weigh on the markets.

Crude oil futures ended higher on Friday with investors weighing the possible impact of U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil exports on crude supply in the market. Crude oil futures for November ended up $0.47 or 0.7 percent at $69.12 a barrel. For the week, oil futures tumbled 3.1 percent.
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