BEIJING (dpa-AFX) - The China stock market has moved lower in back-to-back trading days, surrendering almost 40 points or 1.2 percent along the way. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just beneath the 3,155-point plateau and it's in line for further damage again on Friday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is slightly soft on trade concerns between the U.S. and China, although the downside may be limited by support from crude oil prices. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.
The SCI finished modestly lower on Thursday as losses from the financials and properties were mitigated by support from the oil companies and a mixed picture from the insurance stocks.
For the day, the index dropped 15.28 points or 0.48 percent to finish at 3,154.28 after trading between 3,148.62 and 3,172.77. The Shenzhen Composite Index slid 9.57 points or 0.52 percent to end at 1,822.70.
Among the actives, Bank of China shed 0.26 percent, while Industrial and Commercial Bank of China lost 0.50 percent, China Construction Bank fell 0.52 percent, Bank of Communications eased 0.16 percent, China Life collected 0.64 percent, Ping An Insurance skidded 1.29 percent, PetroChina added 0.25 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) gained 0.14 percent, China Vanke tumbled 1.62 percent, Gemdale dipped 0.09 percent and Agricultural Bank of China was unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is uninspired as stocks showed a lack of direction on Thursday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before closing modestly lower.
The Dow dipped 54.95 points or 0.22 percent to 24,713.98, the NASDAQ slipped 15.82 points or 0.21 percent to 7,382.47 and the S&P 500 edged down 2.33 points or 0.09 percent to 2,720.13.
The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders expressed uncertainty about the second round of trade talks between the U.S. and China. Blaming the policies of previous administrations, President Donald Trump expressed doubt about whether the talks with China will be successful.
In economic news, the Conference Board noted an increase in its index of leading economic indicators, while the Labor Department reported a bigger than expected increase in initial jobless claims in the week ended May 12. Also, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve showed a spike in regional manufacturing activity in May.
Energy stocks saw considerable strength, with the sector continuing to perform well even as the price of crude oil pulled back off its early highs. After reaching a three-and-a-half year high of $72.30 a barrel, crude for June delivery ended the day unchanged at $71.49 a barrel.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX