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China Stock Market May Halt Losing Streak

The China stock market has finished lower in three straight sessions, tumbling almost 100 points or 3 percent along the way. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just above the 3,110-point plateau although bargain hunting is expected to boost the index on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is cautiously optimistic as easing geopolitical concerns were offset by sliding oil prices. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were higher, and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The SCI finished sharply lower on Monday following heavy damage from the financials and oil and insurance companies.

For the day, the index plunged 48.40 points or 1.53 percent to finish at 3,110.65 after trading between 3,096.10 and 3,153.11. The Shenzhen Composite Index lost 9.61 points or 0.52 percent to end at 1,824.77.

Among the actives, Bank of China tumbled 2.58 percent, while Industrial and Commercial Bank of China plunged 3.48 percent, Bank of Communications skidded 1.62 percent, China Construction Bank plummeted 4.31 percent, Agricultural Bank of China dropped 3.10 percent, PetroChina shed 0.92 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) retreated 1.76 percent, China Life declined 3.44 percent and Ping An Insurance fell 2.84 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks moved higher on Monday, reacting to positive earnings and economic news while extending last week's gains.

The Dow added 212.90 points or 0.87 percent to 24,573.04, while the NASDAQ gained 49.63 points or 0.70 percent to 7,156.28 and the S&P climbed 21.54 points or 0.81 percent to 2,677.84.

The strength reflected a positive reaction to earnings news from financial giant Bank of America (BAC), which beat Q1 forecasts.

In economic news, the Commerce Department noted stronger than expected retail sales growth in March. Also, the National Association of Home Builders saw a modest drop in homebuilder confidence in April.

Stocks remained positive in the afternoon after President Donald Trump said he intends to nominate Richard Clarida as Federal Reserve Vice Chairman.

Crude oil prices fell Monday after data showed the shale sector is expected to rise by 125,000 barrels a day in May. June WTI oil settled at $66.22/bbl on Nymex, down $1.17 or 1.7 percent. Prices tumbled from last week's three-year peak.

Closer to home, China will release a raft of data later today, including Q1 numbers for gross domestic product, as well as March figures for retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment.

GDP is expected to jump 1.5 percent on quarter and 6.8 percent on year after climbing 1.6 percent on quarter and 6.8 percent on year in the three months prior.

Retail sales are called higher by 9.7 percent on year, up from 9.4 percent in February. Output is expected to rise 6.4 percent on year, up from 6.2 percent in the previous month. FAI is pegged at 7.7 percent, down from 7.9 percent a month earlier.

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