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China Shares May Flirt With 2,600-Point Level

(RTTNews) - The China stock market bounced higher again on Wednesday, one session after it had halted the two-day winning streak in which it had gathered more than 50 points or 2 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just above the 2,580-point plateau and it may add to its winnings on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is cautiously optimistic, with solid earnings news offset by concerns over the ongoing U.S. government shutdown. The European markets were down and the U.A. bourses were up and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The SCI finished barely higher on Wednesday following gains from the financials, weakness from the properties and a mixed picture from the energy producers.

For the day, the index added 1.30 points or 0.05 percent to finish at 2,581.00 after trading between 2,572.41 and 2,589.51. The Shenzhen Composite Index rose 1.70 points or 0.13 percent to end at 1,316.28.

Among the actives, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China added 0.93 percent, while Bank of China collected 0.28 percent, China Construction Bank gained 0.76 percent, China Merchants Banks rose 0.67 percent, Ping An Insurance shed 0.97 percent, PetroChina lost 0.82 percent, China Shenhua Energy advanced 0.93 percent, Gemdale skidded 1.29 percent, Poly Developments dropped 1.16 percent, China Vanke lost 0.35 percent and China Life Insurance and China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive, if volatile, as stocks fluctuated on Wednesday, showing wild swings before ending in positive territory.

The Dow added 171.14 points or 0.70 percent to 24,575.62, while the NASDAQ gained 5.41 points or 0.08 percent to 7,025.77 and the S&P rose 5.80 points or 0.22 percent to 2,638.70.

The notable advance by the Dow reflected a positive reaction to quarterly results from several blue chips, including IBM Corp. (IBM), United Technologies (UTX) and Procter & Gamble (PG).

Meanwhile, the volatility by the broader markets reflected uncertainty about the economic impact of the ongoing U.S. government shutdown. White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett conceded the U.S. could see zero growth if the shutdown continues for the whole first quarter.

Crude oil futures for March ended down $0.39 or 0.7 percent at $52.62 a barrel, well off Wednesday's low of $51.87. Oil futures rose to a high of $53.64, with traders speculating a likely U.S. sanctions on Venezuelan oil.
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