Hong Kong Stocks Flat, Oil Market Jitters Continue

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2019-09-20 HKT 10:24

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  • HSI was more or less flat after the first session on Friday. File photo: RTHK

    HSI was more or less flat after the first session on Friday. File photo: RTHK

Shares in Hong Kong ended the morning session on Friday with minor gains following a four-day sell-off, with investors watching for developments in the China-US trade row.

The Hang Seng Index inched up just over eight points, to 26,477 by the break.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2 percent, to 3,004 while the Shenzhen market index was up 0.1 percent, to 1,674 at noon break.

Tokyo went into the break 0.4 percent higher. Sydney gained 0.7 percent as investors grow optimistic the Australian central bank will cut interest rates again at its next policy meeting.

Seoul and Taipei added 0.2 percent. Singapore edged up 0.1 percent and Wellington put on 0.4 percent.

In the oil market, traders remained on edge. Both main contracts stabilised this week after the initial shock of drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities but there are worries of a possible conflict after the US pointed the finger at Iran.

Adding to concerns, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned on Thursday that any military strike on the country could lead to "all-out war".

"It is hard to see oil markets wanting to sell crude heavily ahead of the weekend and the event risk that entails," said Jeffrey Halley, senior markets analyst at Oanda.

"In fact, that would be a very dangerous game as the threat of more attacks from Iran or its proxies have, if anything, increased, not decreased given the enfeebled global response this week." (AFP)

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Last updated: 2019-09-20 HKT 12:46