RTTNews - The winning streak has hit three sessions now for the Hong Kong stock market, which has added almost 1,000 points or 5.5 percent on its way to a fresh 10-month closing high. The Hang Seng Index closed above the 20,200-point plateau, and now analysts suggest that the market could open modestly higher on Tuesday.
The global forecast for the Asian bourses again provides little in the way of guidance, with financial and property stocks expected to post mild gains and nudge the markets into positive territory. Some better than expected economic news out of the United States could add to sentiment, although it also may wan on mixed corporate results. The European markets were modestly higher and the U.S. bourses tipped slightly higher, and the Asian markets are predicted also to move slightly higher.
The Hang Seng finished sharply higher on Monday, thanks to gains among the property stocks and the commodities. For the day, the index collected 268.83 points or 1.35 percent to close at 20,251.62 after trading between 20,096.17 and 20,385.69 on turnover of 80.90 billion Hong Kong dollars.
Among the gainers, China Mobile gained 4.2 percent, while Aluminum Corp. of China (Chalco) rose 4.5 percent, Sun Hung Kai Properties rose 3.4 percent, New World Development advanced 3.6 percent, China Shenhua Energy was up 3.9 percent, Harbin Power surged 9 percent, Shanghai Electric jumped 7.8 percent and China COSCO rose 9.1 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is flat with perhaps a touch of upside as stocks staged a modest rally in late session trading after experiencing a largely lackluster session on Monday. The major averages were all able to finish in positive territory by mild margins on another day marred by low volume.
On the economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing that new home sales in the month of June increased by much more than expected. New home sales jumped by 11 percent, the sharpest increase in nearly nine years.
The Commerce Department showed that new home sales rose to an annual rate of 384,000 in June from the revised May rate of 346,000. Economists had expected sales to rise to 352,000 from the 342,000 originally reported for the previous month.
The stronger than expected sales growth came amid a pullback in prices, with the median sales price of new houses sold in June falling 5.8 percent to $206,200 from $219,000 in the previous month. The median sales price had increased for two consecutive months.
In earnings news, RadioShack (RSH), Tellabs (TLAB) and Corning (GLW) reported earnings that beat Wall Street estimates, while Verizon (VZ) and Honeywell (HON) reported results that were in-line with expectations. Aetna (AET), however, was one of the major firms whose quarterly earnings fell short of estimates.
The major averages showed a notable move to the upside going into the close, ending the session just above the unchanged line. The Dow closed up by 15.27 points or 0.2 percent at 9,108.51, the NASDAQ climbed by 1.93 points or 0.1 percent to 1,967.89 and the S&P 500 rose by 2.92 points or 0.3 percent at 982.18.
In economic news, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority said on Monday that the value of new residential mortgage loans drawn down increased 34.4 percent month-on-month in June, compared with the 42.5 percent growth in the previous month. The value of new loans drawn down increased to HK$ 20.4 billion in June from HK$ 15.2 billion in May.
At the same time, the value of new loans approved increased 36.5 percent to HK$ 38.4 billion. Meanwhile, the outstanding value of mortgage loans increased 1.2 percent to HK$ 601.1 billion in June, after rising 0.8 percent in May.
Also, Hong Kong's Census and Statistics Department announced on Monday that the trade deficit stood at HK$ 16.5 billion in June, widening from HK$ 11 billion in May. Economists were looking for a deficit of HK$ 12.9 billion.
Exports value decreased 5.4 percent year-over-year to HK$ 211.1 billion in June, compared with a 14.5 percent fall in the previous month. Economists had expected a decline of 8.3 percent. At the same time, import value dipped 7.9 percent to HK$ 227.6 billion, after falling 19.2 percent in May. Economists were looking for a decrease of 12.5 percent.
For the first half of the year, exports and imports dropped 17.2 percent and 18.6 percent respectively. During the period, the trade deficit amounted to HK$ 78 billion.
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