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Hong Kong Shares Expected To Open In The Red

The Hong Kong stock market has ended in the red in four consecutive trading days, tumbling more than 1,200 points or 4.6 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 26,570-point plateau and it's looking at another soft start again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative on growing concerns about the outlook for interest rates. The European and U.S. markets were firmly lower and the already oversold Asian bourses are tipped to at least open in the red.

The Hang Seng finished slightly lower on Friday following losses from the financials and insurance companies, while the casinos and oil stocks were mixed.

For the day, the index eased 51.30 points or 0.19 percent to finish at 26,572.57 after trading between 26,373.46 and 26,639.64.

Among the actives, China Mobile surged 2.51 percent, while AAC Technologies plummeted 2.19 percent, WH Group soared 2.07 percent, China Mengniu Dairy plunged 2.03 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical spiked 1.82 percent, Sands China jumped 1.69 percent, CNOOC tumbled 1.46 percent, CITIC climbed 1.21 percent, Tencent Holdings skidded 1.10 percent, New World Development advanced 0.97 percent, Galaxy Entertainment dropped 0.82 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China shed 0.74 percent, China Life Insurance lost 0.47 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) climbed 0.41 percent, AIA Group and Sino Land both fell 0.31 percent, Ping An Insurance dipped 0.07 percent and Sun Hung Kai Properties and Hong Kong & China Gas were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened sharply lower on Friday and remained in the red throughout the session, extending recent losses.

The Dow slid 180.43 points or 0.68 percent to 26,447.05, the NASDAQ tumbled 91.06 points or 1.16 percent to 7,788.45 and the S&P fell 16.04 points or 0.55 percent to 2,885.57. For the week, the eased 0.1 percent, the S&P lost 1 percent and the NASDAQ plunged 3.2 percent.

The weakness on Wall Street came as treasury yields extended a recent upward move following the release of the monthly jobs report, adding to concerns about the outlook for interest rates.

While the Labor Department report showed weaker than expected job growth in September, the jump in employment in August was upwardly revised and the unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent for its lowest level since 1969.

Also, the Commerce Department showed the U.S. trade deficit widened in August, reflecting an increase in imports and a decrease in exports.

Crude oil prices retreated after edging higher early on in the session on Friday, as traders weighed the decision of Russia and Saudi Arabia to increase output. Crude oil futures for November ended at $74.34 a barrel, gaining a penny.

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