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China Stock Market May Take Further Damage On Friday

The China stock market has moved lower in two straight sessions, retreating more than 80 points or 2.5 percent along the way. The Shanghai Composite Index now sits just above the 3,230-point plateau and it's looking at another soft start again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is weak as optimism waned in the United States over a coronavirus relief package. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses are expected to follow that lead.

The SCI finished modestly lower on Thursday as losses from the financials and oil companies were mitigated by support from the properties and insurance stocks.

For the day, the index sank 19.80 points or 0.61 percent to finish at 3,234.82 after trading between 3,227.64 and 3,285.47. The Shenzhen Composite Index plunged 46.53 points or 2.14 percent to end at 2,129.25.

Among the actives, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China shed 0.61 percent, while Bank of China lost 0.31 percent, China Construction Bank sank 0.65 percent, China Merchants Bank collected 0.27 percent, Bank of Communications fell 0.22 percent, China Life Insurance spiked 3.21 percent, Ping An Insurance was up 0.05 percent, PetroChina dropped 0.93 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) slid 0.51 percent, China Shenhua Energy rose 0.12 percent, Gemdale surged 3.59 percent, Poly Developments spiked 2.26 percent and China Vanke jumped 1.72 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks were unable to hold on to early gains Thursday, reversing course in the late morning before finishing firmly in the red.

The Dow plunged 405.89 points or 1.45 percent to finish at 27,534.58, while the NASDAQ tumbled 221.97 points or 1.99 percent to end at 10,919.59 and the S&P 500 dropped 59.77 points or 1.76 percent to close at 3,339.19.

Strength among tech stocks contributed to the early advance on Wall Street, but they also helped to lead the subsequent pullback by the markets.

Adding to the negative sentiment, Senate Republicans failed to advance a new coronavirus stimulus bill. Facing unanimous opposition from Democrats, the bill couldn't clear a key procedural hurdle in the latest sign of the difficulty lawmakers have had in passing a new relief package.

In economic news, the Labor Department said initial jobless claims were roughly unchanged last week, defying expectations for a notable decline. Also, the Labor Department said producer prices increased slightly more than expected last month.

Crude oil prices drifted lower Thursday after data showed an increase in U.S. crude inventories last week, while easing of output curbs by OPEC+ also contributed to oil's weakness. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended down $0.75 or 2 percent at $37.30 a barrel.

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