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Win Streak May Stall For Hong Kong Stock Market

The Hong Kong stock market has finished higher in five straight sessions, advancing almost 1,200 points or 4 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 31,120-point plateau although it's overdue for consolidation on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is inconclusive after a fall in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and flat, and the Asian bourses figure to follow suit.

The Hang Seng finished sharply higher on Friday following gains from the casinos, properties and insurance companies.

For the day, the index soared 312.84 points or 1.02 percent to finish at 31,122.06 after trading between 31,032.44 and 31,277.39.

Among the actives, AIA Group surged 2.39 percent, while Sands China surged 2.16 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) soared 1.63 percent, New World Development spiked 1.57 percent, Galaxy Entertainment and CITIC both jumped 1.53 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas climbed 0.96 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.88 percent, WH Group advanced 0.76 percent, Ping An Insurance added 0.71 percent, China Mengniu Dairy gained 0.55 percent, China Mobile was up 0.54 percent, Lenovo Group gathered 0.53 percent, BOC Hong Kong shed 0.49 percent, CNOOC slid 0.29 percent and China Life was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks were lackluster on Friday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before ending mostly higher.

The Dow climbed 91.64 points or 0.37 percent to 24,831.17, the NASDAQ fell 2.09 points or 0.03 percent to 7,402.88 and the S&P 500 rose 4.65 points or 0.17 percent to 2,727.72. For the week, the NASDAQ surged 2.7 percent, Dow jumped 2.3 percent and the S&P 500 spiked 2.4 percent.

The markets initially benefited from the upward momentum in the two previous sessions, but buying interest waned as the day progressed.

Traders also digested President Donald Trump's outline of his plan to reduce high drug prices, which he has previously described as a top priority for his administration.

In economic news, the Labor Department said import prices increased less than expected in April, while export prices gained more than expected. Also, the University of Michigan said consumer sentiment held steady in early May.

Crude oil futures fell Friday amid signs that U.S. production will remain robust. June WTI oil fell 66 cents or 0.9 percent to settle at $70.70/bbl. Prices were up 1.4 percent for the week.

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