(RTTNews) – The China stock market on Thursday snapped the two-day winning streak in which it had climbed more than 50 points or 1.6 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index now sits just above the 3,310-point plateau although it may bounce higher again on Friday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive on optimism over inflation, demand and interest rates. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses are expected to open in similar fashion.
The SCI finished barely lower on Thursday following losses from the properties, gains from the financials and a mixed picture from the resource stocks.
For the day, the index eased 1.69 points or 0.05 percent to finish at 3,310.65 after trading between 3,306.46 and 3,320.74. The Shenzhen Composite fell 11.18 points or 0.52 percent to end at 2,152.64.
Among the actives, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.47 percent, while Bank of China added 0.62 percent, China Construction Bank gained 0.53 percent, Bank of Communications improved 0.61 percent, China Life Insurance fell 0.24 percent, Aluminum Corp of China (Chalco) increased 0.35 percent, Yankuang Energy tumbled 1.74 percent, PetroChina strengthened 1.52 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) rallied 2.11 percent, Huaneng Power dropped 0.96 percent, China Shenhua Energy gathered 0.43 percent, Gemdale and China Vanke both plummeted 2.85 percent, Poly Developments declined 1.39 percent, China Fortune Land stumbled 1.46 percent and China Merchants Bank and Jiangxi Copper were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is upbeat as the major averages opened mixed but trended steadily upward throughout the session, with all finishing firmly in the green.
The Dow surged 341.75 points or 1.05 percent to finish at 33,003.57, while the NASDAQ advanced 83.50 points or 0.73 percent to end at 11,462.98 and the S&P 500 gained 29.96 points or 0.76 percent to close at 3,981.35.
The surge by the Dow reflected a spike by shares of Salesforce (CRM), with the cloud-based software company soaring 11.5 percent on better than expected Q4 results and upbeat guidance.
The markets also rebounded on comments from Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic, who said he strongly favors raising interest rates in only quarter-point increments.
Traders largely shrugged off a continue surge in treasury yields, which followed the release of a Labor Department report unexpectedly showing a modest decline in initial jobless claims last week.
Crude oil prices climbed higher on Thursday, extending gains from the previous session as optimism about higher demand from China outweighed concerns about inflation and interest rate hikes. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for April settled at $78.16 a barrel, gaining $0.47 or 0.6 percent.
Closer to home, China will see February results for the services PMI from Caixin later this morning, with forecasts suggesting a score of 54.7 – up from 52.9 in January.
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