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China Stock Market Expected To Open Under Continued Pressure

The China stock market on Friday emphatically ended the five-day winning streak in which it had soared more than 150 points or 4.8 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just beneath the 2,970-point plateau and it's looking at another soft start again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative on falling crude oil prices and disappointing economic data. The European and U.S. markets were down on Friday and the Asian markets are tipped to open in similar fashion.

The SCI finished sharply lower on Friday with damage across the board - particularly among the financials, properties and energy producers.

For the day, the index plummeted 136.56 points or 4.40 percent to finish at 2,969.86 after trading between 2,969.58 and 3,075.05. The Shenzhen Composite Index plunged 63.25 points or 3.79 percent to end at 1,605.28.

Among the actives, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China shed 2.95 percent, while Bank of China lost 3.60 percent, China Construction Bank skidded 4.03 percent, China Merchants Bank fell 1.66 percent, China Life Insurance plummeted 7.22 percent, Ping An Insurance dropped 2.26 percent, PetroChina sank 3.53 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) retreated 3.78 percent, China Shenhua Energy tumbled 4.26 percent, CITIC Securities plunged 10.01 percent, Gemdale contracted 2.95 percent, Poly Developments slid 3.62 percent and China Vanke was down 4.10 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is uninspired as stocks opened lower Friday, came off session lows as the day progressed but still ended slightly in the red.

The Dow shed 22.99 points or 009 percent to 25.450.24, while the NASDAQ lost 13.32 points or 0.18 percent to 7,408.14 and the S&P 500 fell 5.86 points or 0.21 percent to 2,743.07. For the week, the Dow and the S&P both slumped 2.2 percent, while the NASDAQ tumbled 2.5 percent.

The initial weakness on Wall Street came after the Labor Department said job growth nearly ground to a halt in February after soaring in January. The much weaker than expected job growth in February represented the worst month since September 2017

Concerns about the global economy also weighed on the markets after the European Central Bank downgraded its GDP forecasts and China reported weaker than expected trade data for February.

Crude oil futures ended lower on Friday as worries about demand growth resurfaced on data showing weak jobs growth in the U.S. and a sharp plunge in Chinese exports. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $0.59 or 1 percent at $56.07 a barrel.

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