- October 19, 2020
- Posted by: Stratford Team
- Category: Markets
(RTTNews) – The China stock market on Friday snapped the two-day losing streak in which it had retreated almost 30 points or 1 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index now sits just above the 3,335-point plateau and it’s likely to remain in that neighborhood again on Monday.
The global forecast for Asian markets is murky, clouded by uncertainty regarding stimulus in the United States. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.
The SCI finished slightly higher on Friday following gains from the financial shares, property stocks and oil and insurance companies.
For the day, the index rose 4.18 points or 0.13 percent to finish at 3,336.36 after trading between 3,319.11 and 3,348.95. The Shenzhen Composite Index fell 8.96 points or 0.39 percent to end at 2,265.43.
Among the actives, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China climbed 1.22 percent, while Bank of China collected 0.62 percent, China Construction Bank rallied 2.73 percent, China Merchants Bank spiked 1.97 percent, Bank of Communications added 0.66 percent, China Life Insurance soared 3.31 percent, Ping An Insurance perked 0.74 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) rose 0.26 percent, China Shenhua Energy jumped 1.61 percent, Gemdale gained 0.71 percent, Poly Developments increased 0.56 percent, China Vanke was up 0.58 percent, Beijing Capital Development gathered 0.45 percent and PetroChina was unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is uninspired after stocks opened higher on Friday but faded as the day progressed, eventually ending mixed.
The Dow added 112.11 points or 0.39 percent to finish at 28,606.31, while the NASDAQ sank 42.34 points or 0.36 percent to end at 11,671.56 and the S&P 500 rose 0.47 points or 0.01 percent to close at 3,483.81. For the week, the Dow rose 0.1 percent, the NASDAQ gained 0.8 percent and the S&P was up 0.2 percent.
The late-day pullback on Wall Street reflected lingering uncertainty about a new stimulus bill, with the slump also being attributed to the expiration of equity options.
The rally in early trading came as better than expected retail sales data tempered concerns the economic recovery may be stalling. Also, the University of Michigan reported a bigger than expected improvement in consumer sentiment in October.
Buying interest was also generated after Pfizer (PFE) Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said the drug giant will apply for emergency use of the Covid-19 vaccine it is developing with BioNTech (BNTX) soon after the safety milestone is achieved in the third week of November.
Crude oil prices ended marginally lower on Friday as worries about the demand outlook amid the continued surge in coronavirus cases weighed on the commodity. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended down $0.08 or 0.2 percent at $40.88 a barrel.
Closer to home, China is scheduled to release a batch of data today, including Q3 figures for gross domestic product and September numbers for industrial production, retail sales, unemployment and fixed asset investment.
GDP is expected to rise 3.2 percent on quarter and 5.2 percent on year after gaining 11.5 percent on quarter and 3.2 percent on year in the three months prior. Industrial production is tipped to rise 5.8 percent on year, up from 5.6 percent in August.
Retail sales are called higher by 1.8 percent on year, up from 0.5 percent in the previous month. FAI is expected to add 0.8 percent on year after slipping 0.3 percent a month earlier. The jobless rate in August was 5.6 percent.