RTTNews - The winning streak has been extended to three sessions now for the Hong Kong stock market, which has gained more than 1,050 points or 5.5 percent in the process. The Hang Seng Index is getting close to regaining the 19,000-point plateau, although analysts do not expect the market to surpass that level in Monday's trade.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed, with perhaps a touch of upside coming from the technology sectors - although several of the regional bourses are riding modest winning streaks and could see a minor downside correction. The U.S. markets ended in mixed fashion on Friday, as did the European markets - and the Asian markets are predicted also to stay close to the unchanged line.
The Hang Seng finished sharply higher on Friday, fueled by gains among the financials and the property shares.
For the day, the index jumped 325.23 points or 1.78 percent to close at 18,600.26 after trading between 18,360.71 and 18,688.11 on turnover of 62.53 billion Hong Kong dollars.
Among the gainers, MTRC rose 3.22 percent, while Hang Lung Properties surged 5.4 percent, Cheung Kong was up 2.6 percent, Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing rose 2.5 percent, Wing Hang Bank jumped 10.5 percent, Chalco rose 3.5 percent, CNOOC was up 3.0 percent and PetroChina was 2.6 percent higher.
The lead from Wall Street is fairly inconclusive as stocks finished Friday's session on a mixed note, with traders largely shrugging off the day's economic data. The major averages finished on opposite sides of the unchanged line by mild margins, seeing yet another lackluster outing prompted by low volume.
Ahead of the opening bell on Wall Street, a report from the Commerce Department showed that personal income jumped 1.4 percent in May following an upwardly revised 0.7 percent increase in April, although the growth was due in large part to increased government social benefit payments.
Excluding the effects of the stimulus bill, disposable personal income, or personal income less personal current taxes, increased by a much more modest 0.2 percent in May. The report also indicated that that personal spending rose 0.3 percent in May after coming in unchanged in the previous month. The moderate increase in spending came in line with economist estimates.
Separately, a report from Reuters and the University of Michigan showed that the consumer sentiment index was revised up to 70.8 in June from the preliminary reading of 69.0, coming in well above the May reading of 68.7. Economists had been expecting the index to be unrevised at 69.0.
On the earnings front, KB Home (KBH) reported a second-quarter net loss of $1.03 per share, compared to a net loss of $3.30 per share for the same period last year. Analysts expected the company to report a loss of $0.64 per share for the quarter.
Meanwhile, Qantas said that it has reached a mutual agreement with Boeing (BA) to defer the delivery of 15 aircraft by four years and cancel orders for 15 others scheduled for delivery in 2014 and 2015.
The major indices finished the day on a mixed note, failing to sustain a late rally. While the NASDAQ closed up by 8.68 points or 0.5 percent at 1,838.22, the Dow slipped by 34.01 points or 0.4 percent to 8,438.39 and the S&P 500 fell 1.36 or 0.2 percent to 918.90. With the mixed performance for the session, the major averages also closed mixed for the week. While the NASDAQ posted a 0.6 percent gain for the week, the Dow and the S&P 500 posted their second consecutive weekly losses, falling 1.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.
In corporate news, China's industrial company profits dropped 22.9 percent annually in the first five months of the year to 850.2 billion yuan, the National Bureau of Statistics said Friday.
Among the industries, profits of iron and steel industry showed the steepest drop, declining 97.2 percent year-on-year. This was followed by a 77.9 percent drop in profits of non-ferrous metal smelting and rolling processing industry, while those for extraction of petroleum and natural gas dipped 75.8 percent.
At the same time, profits of coal and mining, architectural materials and electric power increased in the month. Moreover, the petroleum processing and coking industry showed a profit, reversing from a net loss in the previous year. Meanwhile, profits of companies declined 37.3 percent in the first two months of the year.
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