The China stock market has closed higher now in three straight sessions, collecting more than 55 points or 2.4 percent along the way. The Shanghai Composite Index finished just above the 2,305-point plateau, although now investors may be tempted to lock in gains when the market opens on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is fairly light on leads, since the major European and U.S. markets were closed for Good Friday. However, analysts are looking for selling pressure on Monday after U.S. employment data failed to meet expectations.
The SCI finished slightly higher on Friday following mild upside form the property stocks and resource plays.
For the day, the index added 4.31 points or 0.19 percent to finish at 2,306.55 after trading between 2,291.56 and 2,309.64. The Shenzhen Composite Index collected 6.11 points or 0.7 percent to end at 925.53.
Among the actives, Agricultural Bank of China shed 0.4 percent, while China Construction Bank lost 1.3 percent and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China eased 0.2 percent.
There is no lead from Wall Street or Europe, although the Asian markets are still looking at some negative momentum after the Labor Department reported on Friday that U.S. employment saw continued growth in March, although the pace of job growth came in well below estimates.
Non-farm payroll employment increased by 120,000 jobs in March following an upwardly revised increase of 240,000 jobs in February. Economists had expected the addition of about 201,000 jobs compared to the increase of 227,000 jobs that had been reported for the previous month.
The continued job growth was partly due to notable increases in employment in the leisure and hospitality and manufacturing sectors, which added 39,000 jobs and 37,000 jobs, respectively.
Despite the weaker than expected job growth, the unemployment rate unexpectedly edged down to 8.2 percent in March from 8.3 percent in February. With the unexpected drop, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since coming in at 7.8 percent in January of 2009.
Also, the Bank of England kept the size of its bond purchases unchanged, as concerns about a technical recession ease and inflation remains sticky due to elevated oil prices. The nine-member Monetary Policy Committee decided to leave the quantitative easing unchanged at GBP 325 billion. Also, the committee retained the benchmark interest rate at its record low level of 0.50 percent.
In economic news, China is on Monday scheduled to release March figures for consumer and producer prices. The consumer price index is expected to come in at 3.5 percent, up from 3.2 percent in February. The producer price index is called at -0.3 percent after showing a flat reading in the previous month.
by RTT Staff Writer
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