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Mild Upside Predicted For Hong Kong Bourse

The Hong Kong stock market has climbed higher in two of three trading days since the end of the two-day losing streak in which it had stumbled nearly 200 points or 0.8 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 26,690-point plateau and it's expected to remain in that neighborhood again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky after disappointing U.S. employment data renewed concerns for the world's largest economy, although it also sparked hope for more interest rate cuts in the near term. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. bourses were mixed but little changed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Friday as gains from the financials and oil companies were capped by weakness from the property sector.

For the day, the index collected 175.26 points or 0.66 percent to finish at 26,690.76 after trading between 26,563.17 and 26,790.79.

Among the actives, AAC Technologies surged 2.94 percent, while WH Group soared 2.35 percent, Galaxy Entertainment spiked 2.12 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical plunged 2,08 percent, Sands China jumped 1.92 percent, AIA Group climbed 1.46 percent, CNOOC gathered 1.35 percent, BOC Hong Kong perked 0.93 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) accelerated 0.91 percent, China Life Insurance advanced 0.85 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.78 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas added 0.65 percent, Ping An Insurance and Tencent Holdings both gained 0.59 percent, New World Development dropped 0.58 percent, Sino Land rose 0.51 percent, CITIC sank 0.51 percent, China Mengniu Dairy fell 0.16 percent, China Mobile was up 0.08 percent and Power Assets Holdings and Sun Hung Kai Properties were unchanged.

The from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks bounced back and forth across the unchanged line Friday before closing mixed.

The Dow added 69.31 points or 0.26 percent to 26,797.46, while the NASDAQ fell 13.75 points or 0.17 percent to 8,103.07 and the S&P 500 rose 2.71points or 0.09 percent to 2,978.71. For the week, the Dow jumped 1.5 percent and the NASDAQ and S&P both gained 1.8 percent.

The choppy trading on Wall Street followed the release of a closely watched Labor Department report showing weaker than expected job growth in August. But the report also said average hourly employee earnings climbed $0.11 to $28.11 in August following 9-cent gains in June and July.

Traders shrugged off comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who argued the central bank has helped keep the economy on solid ground amid the uncertainty caused by President Donald Trump's trade war with China.

Despite the uncertainty cause by the trade war, Powell noted the Fed does not currently anticipate a recession since the labor market and consumer spending remain strong.

Crude oil futures moved higher on Friday after a report from Baker Hughes showed the oil rig count dropped for a third straight week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended up $0.22 or 0.4 percent at $56.52 a barrel.

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