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China Stock Market May Tick Higher Again On Monday

The China stock market on Friday halted the two-day slide in which it had tumbled more than 80 points or 2.5 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index now sits just above the 3,260-point plateau and it may add to its winnings on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is fairly flat, although technology stocks may see further profit taking. The European and U.S. bourse were mixed but little changed on Friday and the Asian markets are tipped to follow suit.

The SCI finished modestly higher on Friday following gains from the insurance companies, weakness from the properties and a mixed performance from the financials.

For the day, the index gained 25.52 points or 0.79 percent to finish at 3,260.35 after trading between 3,220.54 and 3,262.50. The Shenzhen Composite Index spiked 34.97 points or 1.64 percent to end at 2,164.22.

Among the actives, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.41 percent, while China Construction Bank rose 0.15 percent, China Merchants Bank skidded 1.22 percent, Bank of Communications dipped 0.22 percent, China Life Insurance climbed 1.16 percent, Ping An Insurance gained 0.90 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) fell 0.26 percent, China Shenhua Energy tumbled 1.78 percent, Gemdale dropped 1.07 percent, Poly Developments sank 1.13 percent, China Vanke retreated 1.62 percent and Bank of China and PetroChina were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks showed a lack of direction on Friday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before finishing mixed.

The Dow added 131.06 points or 0.48 percent to finish at 27,665.64, while the NASDAQ lost 66.05 points or 0.60 percent to end at 10,853.54 and the S&P 500 rose 1.78 points or 0.05 percent to close at 3,340.97. For the week, the Dow lost 1.7 percent, the NASDAQ sank 4.1 percent and the S&P fell 2.5 percent.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders were reluctant to make significant moves after the substantial volatility in the past several sessions.

Traders may also have been looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy decision scheduled for next Wednesday. The Fed is widely expected to leave rates at near-zero levels but could make tweaks to its accompanying statement. The central bank's latest economic projections may also attract some attention.

In economic news, the Labor Department said consumer prices increased more than anticipated in August, as did core CPI.

Crude oil prices were sluggish on Friday but managed to close slightly higher, weighed by worries about the outlook for energy demand due to a continued surge in coronavirus cases. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for October ended up $0.03 or 0.08 percent at $37.33 a barrel. WTI crude oil futures lost 6 percent for the week.

Closer to home, China will release August results for its house price index later today; in July, prices were up 4.8 percent on year.

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