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Bargain Hunting May Boost Hong Kong Shares

The Hong Kong stock market turned lower again on Friday, one day after it had ended the two-day slide in which it had given away more than 650 points or 2 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 30,580-point plateau although it's expected to rebound on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to higher, thanks to bargain hunting after heavy losses last week. The European markets were down, and the U.S. bourses were mostly higher - and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The Hang Seng finished sharply lower on Friday following losses from the financials, properties and oil and insurance companies.

For the day, the index tumbled 460.80 points or 1.48 percent to finish at 30,583.45 after trading between 30,477.95 and 30,670.94.

Among the actives, Tencent Holdings plummeted 2.46 percent, while Ping An Insurance plunged 2.36 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China tumbled 2.06 percent, AIA Group skidded 1.83 percent, China Resources Land dropped 1.79 percent, China Life retreated 1.50 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) declined 1.43 percent, CNOOC slid 1.42 percent, Sino Land shed 1.39 percent, New World Development lost 1.32 percent, WH Group fell 1.25 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas was down 0.52 percent, China Mobile slipped 0.41 percent and Lenovo Group eased 0.25 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks showed a significant turnaround on Friday after opening lower. The major averages bounced well off their lows of the session, with the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 climbing into positive territory.

The Dow shed 70.92 points or 0.29 percent to 24,538.06, while the NASDAQ added 77.31 points or 1.08 percent to 7,257.87 and the S&P gained 13.58 points or 0.51 percent to 2,691.25. For the week, the Dow plunged 3 percent, the S&P tumbled 2 percent and the NASDAQ slumped 1.1 percent.

Bargain hunting may have contributed to the rebound on Wall Street as the early weakness followed the sharp pullback in the past three sessions. The drop came as traders expressed concerns about how President Donald Trump's plans to impose new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports will affect global trade.

The tariffs are likely to benefit U.S. steel and aluminum producers, although some officials have warned of retaliation by the European Union and China. Trump shrugged off the concerns on Friday, calling trade wars "good" and "easy to win"

Crude oil prices rose Friday, supported by a weaker U.S. dollar and a modest increase in the number of U.S. oil rigs in operation. However, prices fell last week amid speculation OP would increase production. Crude oil futures rose 26 cents, settling at $61.25 a barrel, but posted the first weekly loss in three weeks.

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