Hang Seng Index seeks stability over the weekend as China's GDP weakens

The Hang Seng Index has managed to retain some of its early-Friday gains heading into IG’s weekend trading hours, even as China’s economy reportedly posted its first quarterly loss since 1992.

Hong Kong stock benchmark Hang Seng Index has had an up and down week.

On Wednesday 15 April, the index dropped as much as 2%, closing out the day at 24098.95. It then traded sideways for the most part of Thursday 16 April, before opening Friday 17 April’s session 2.5% higher, on the back of new and positive coronavirus drug developments in the US.

The benchmark eventually closed out the week 373.55 points higher at 24380.

Based on IG’s after-hours weekend trading data, the Weekend Hang Seng Index is trying to find support above 24330, which would still put it slightly above this week’s opening mark.

IG offers weekend trading options for the Hang Seng Index and other major indices. Buy long or sell short on the Weekend Hang Seng Index over the weekend via CFDs and other instruments provided by IG's market-leading trading solution.

Markets rally following reports of Gilead’s coronavirus drug success

Hang Seng’s rally came on the back of new reports pointing to largely positive US clinical trial data regarding potential Covid-19 treatments from US pharmaceutical group Gilead Sciences.

Based on findings from a study conducted by the University of Chicago on 125 Covid-19 patients – of which 113 were classified as having severe infections, health sciences new site STAT had reported that most patients were given daily infusions of an experimental antiviral drug called Remdesivir.

Nearly all patients were said to have recovered from their symptoms and were discharged in less than a week.

Following this, US indices S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures contracts showed an increase of around 4.5% and 4.1% respectively at the same time, according to IG numbers.

In Asia, the Nikkei 225 and Straits Times Index also received slight boosts in early trading hours. Over in Europe, the FTSE 100 rose 3.2% within the first 30 minutes of trading on Friday morning.

With CFDs, you can buy long or sell short on Hang Seng Index shares even during the weekend, depending on whether you think prices will rise or fall. Start today by opening an account on IG's world-leading trading platform.

China’s economy contracted by 6.8% in Q1 of 2020

The Hang Seng Index’s stronger performance on Friday also indicated that the current market optimism regarding a coronavirus pandemic cure and recovery far outweighed the threat of any weak economic data.

According to Reuters and official government data, China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted for the first time since it started tracking quarterly GDP. In the first quarter of 2020 for the three months ending March, GDP fell by 6.8%.

What is weekend trading?

Weekend trading gives you access to forex, indices (such as the Weekend Hang Seng Index) and cryptocurrency markets on a Saturday and Sunday. So, if news breaks about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – or central bank measures to ease the strain on global markets are announced – you no longer need to wait until markets open on Monday to trade.

The weekend prices for indices and forex are quoted separately to their weekday counterparts, based on our view of the prospects for that market given client business and news flow. As a result, you can use these markets to hedge against risk on your weekday positions. Weekend indices and forex positions will rollover into regular weekday positions if they are kept open after the Sunday close, with any stops or limits remaining in place.

You can buy long or sell short on the Weekend Hang Seng Index by trading CFDs and other instruments provided by IG's world-leading solution. Start today by opening an IG account.

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