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Hong Kong Stock Market May Be Rangebound On Monday

The Hong Kong stock market on Friday ended the two-day losing streak in which it had fallen more than 310 points or 1.3 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 24,500-point plateau and it's expected to remain in that neighborhood 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 Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Friday following gains from the casinos and properties, while the financials and oil companies were mixed.

For the day, the index advanced 189.77 points or 0.78 percent to finish at 24,503.31 after trading between 24,293.03 and 24,572.66.

Among the actives, Sands China surged 4.49 percent, while Techtronic Industries soared 3.23 percent, Galaxy Entertainment spiked 3.19 percent, WH Group accelerated 2.32 percent, Tencent Holdings jumped 1.98 percent, China Mengniu Dairy climbed 1.78 percent, Hang Lung Properties plunged 1.13 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas tumbled 0.69 percent, BOC Hong Kong gathered 0.67 percent, Hang Seng Bank collected 0.66 percent, AIA Group perked 0.63 percent, Hengan International skidded 0.61 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) sank 0.59 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China dropped 0.46 percent, CITIC shed 0.45 percent, New World Development lost 0.38 percent, Ping An Insurance advanced 0.37 percent, Henderson Land added 0.34 percent, Sun Hung Kai Properties gained 0.30 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical rose 0.26 percent, CNOOC increased 0.25 percent, China Life Insurance was up 0.11 percent and AAC Technologies, Power Assets and China Mobile 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, Hong Kong will see Q2 numbers for industrial production later today; in the three months prior, industrial output sank 4.6 percent on year.

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