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Hong Kong Shares May Find Support On Friday

The Hong Kong stock market has finished lower in consecutive trading days, giving away almost 200 points or 0.7 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just beneath the 27,780-point plateau, although it may find traction on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky, thanks to mixed economic data, geopolitical concerns and a bump in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and little changed and the Asian bourses figure to follow suit.

The Hang Seng finished modestly lower on Thursday as losses from the properties and financials were mitigated by mixed performances from the casinos and oil companies.

For the day, the index fell 116.88 points or 0.42 percent to finish at 27,777.20 after trading between 27,699.09 and 27,895.07.

Among the actives, Tingyi Holding surged 8.45 percent, while Galaxy Entertainment skidded 1.31 percent, China Life tumbled 1.24 percent, Li & Fung climbed 1.06 percent, New World Development shed 0.88 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China lost 0.87 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) fell 0.84 percent, Ping An Insurance slipped 0.80 percent, CNOOC advanced 0.43 percent, Sands China gained 0.40 percent, BOC Hong Kong and Kunlun Energy both added 0.13 percent and Belle International was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is unclear as stocks moved in opposite directions on Thursday - eventually finishing mixed, with the Dow hitting a fresh record closing high.

The Dow rose 45.30 points or 0.2 percent to 22,203.48, while the NASDAQ slid 31.10 points or 0.5 percent to 6,429.08 and the S&P 500 fell 2.75 points or 0.1 percent to 2,495.62.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted a bigger than expected increase in consumer prices in August. The faster rate of inflation growth has raised concerns about the outlook for the Federal Reserve's monetary policy.

The Labor Department showed an unexpected pullback in initial jobless claims in the week ended September 9th.

Geopolitical concerns also generated some selling pressure after North Korea threatened to use nuclear weapons to "sink" Japan and reduce the U.S. to "ashes and darkness" for supporting a new round of sanctions by the United Nations.

Crude oil futures briefly surged above $50 a barrel for the first time in a month Thursday, as traders bet on renewed demand from U.S. refineries. October WTI oil gained 59 cents or 1.2 percent to $49.89/bbl, a six-week high.

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