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China Bourse May Take Further Damage On Monday

The China stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last four trading days since the end of the two-day losing streak in which it had faded not even two points. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just beneath the 3,090-point plateau and it's likely to see additional consolidation on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is slightly soft as disappointing U.S. jobs data may trigger profit taking after recent gains. The European and U.S. markets were down on Friday and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow suit.

The SCI finished slightly lower on Friday as losses from the oil and property stocks were mitigated my mild support from the financials.

For the day, the index fell 2.59 points or 0.08 percent to finish at 3,092.29 after trading between 3,081.40 and 3,105.22. The Shenzhen Composite Index slid 2.76 points or 0.15 percent to end at 1,797.88.

Among the actives, China Merchants Bank collected 0.36 percent, while China Minsheng Bank added 0.32 percent, China Life Insurance climbed 1.27 percent, Ping An Insurance shed 0.31 percent, PetroChina skidded 1.16 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) lost 0.58 percent, China Shenhua Energy tumbled 1.30 percent, Gemdale plunged 2.99 percent, Poly Developments sank 1.60 percent, China Vanke retreated 2.30 percent and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China and China Construction Bank were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks opened higher on Friday but headed south in the late morning and finished in the red, pulling back from record closing highs.

The major averages finished with mild losses as the Dow shed 133.13 points or 0.46 percent to 28,823.77, while the NASDAQ dipped 24.57 points or 0.27 percent to 9,178.86 and the S&P 500 fell 9.35 points or 0.29 percent to 3,265.35.

The higher open was the result of continued optimism over easing concerns about a conflict between the U.S. and Iran.

But the markets turned lower in late morning after the Labor Department's closely watched non-farm payroll data showed the pace of job growth slowed more than expected in December.

Crude oil prices drifted lower Friday, declining for a fourth successive session, amid easing tensions in the Middle East, after the U.S. decided against military action on Iran. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February ended down $0.52, or about 0.9 percent, at $59.04 a barrel.

Closer to home, China is scheduled to release December figures for imports, exports and trade balance later today.

Imports are expected to have risen 9.6 percent on year after adding 0.3 percent in November. Exports are called higher by an annual 2.5 percent after slipping 1.3 percent in the previous month. The trade balance is expected to reflect a surplus of $45.70 billion, up from $38.73 billion a month earlier.

China also will see December numbers for new yuan loans, with forecasts suggesting a total of 1,200 billion - down from 1,390 billion in November.

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