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Hong Kong Shares Tipped To Open Under Pressure

The Hong Kong stock market has finished higher in two straight sessions, collecting more than 550 points or 2 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just beneath the 28,640-point plateau although it's expected to turn lower 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 Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Friday as gains from the properties and casinos were capped by weakness from the financials and oil companies.

For the day, the index picked up 77.20 points or 0.27 percent to finish at 28,638.20 after trading between 28,504.27 and 28,665.14.

Among the actives, China Resources Land plummeted 3.38 percent, while Tencent Holdings surged 2.21 percent, Galaxy Entertainment soared 1.99 percent, BOC Hong Kong spiked 1.09 percent, CNOOC tumbled 1.02 percent, China Mobile dropped 1.00 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical sank 0.99 percent, Sands China accelerated 0.81 percent, Sun Hung Kai Properties jumped 0.68 percent, China Mengniu Dairy shed 0.61 percent, WH Group lost 0.57 percent, AIA Group advanced 0.47 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) fell 0.42 percent, Ping An Insurance slid 0.37 percent, CITIC dipped 0.30 percent, New World Development gained 0.19 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China eased 0.17 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas was down 0.13 percent, Power Assets rose 0.09 percent and Sino Land and China Life Insurance 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.

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