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Hong Kong Bourse Tipped To Open In The Red

The Hong Kong stock market bounced higher again on Friday, one session after ending the three-day winning streak in which it had gathered almost 390 points or 1.5 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 26,450-point plateau although it's likely to turn lower again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is uninspired thanks to a continued surge in Covid-19 cases worldwide. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Friday as gains from the technology stocks and casinos were capped by weakness from the properties and oil and insurance companies.

For the day, the index collected 94.57 points or 0.36 percent to finish at 26,451.54 after trading between 26,313.28 and 26,564.25.

Among the actives, WuXi Biologics surged 5.57 percent, while Wharf Real Estate plummeted 3.46 percent, Techtronic Industries soared 3.35 percent, Alibaba Group spiked 3.18 percent, China Resources Land plunged 3.03 percent, Hang Lung Properties accelerated 2.13 percent, WH Group and New World Development both tanked 1.49 percent, AIA Group rallied 1.47 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) tumbled 1.41 percent, Xiaomi jumped 1.39 percent, CNOOC skidded 1.24 percent, China Mengniu Dairy retreated 1.20 percent, BOC Hong Kong collected 1.02 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China declined 0.87 percent, Ping An Insurance surrendered 0.84 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas sank 0.66 percent, CITIC dropped 0.65 percent, China Life Insurance shed 0.45 percent, Sands China added 0.44 percent, Galaxy Entertainment gained 0.41 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical lost 0.37 percent, Power Assets fell 0.36 percent, China Mobile slid 0.32 percent, Sun Hung Kai Properties eased 0.09 percent and AAC technologies was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened lower on Friday and largely remained in the red, finishing firmly in negative territory.

The Dow shed 219.75 points or 0.75 percent to finish at 29,263.48, while the NASDAQ sank 49.74 points or 0.42 percent to end at 11,854.976 and the S&P 500 fell 24.33 points or 0.68 percent to close at 3,557.54. For the week, the Dow fell 0.7 percent, the NASDAQ rose 0.2 percent and the S&P fell 0.8 percent.

The weakness on Wall Street reflected concerns about the near-term economic outlook amid a continued spike in new coronavirus cases in the U.S. Data showed nearly 188,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, while the daily death toll topped 2,000 for the first time.

The continued surge in new cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S. has raised concerns new restrictions and lockdowns will dampen the economy recovery. While there continues to be upbeat news on the vaccine front, traders seem worried about an economic downturn leading up to the widespread distribution of a vaccine.

Adding to the economic uncertainty, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced a decision to allow five of the Federal Reserve's nine emergency lending programs to expire at the end of the year.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Friday, lifted by optimism about a likely pick-up in energy demand once the Covid-19 vaccines get the nod from drug regulators. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December settled at $42.15 a barrel, gaining $0.41 or 1 percent on the expiration day. New front-month contract January WTI futures were up by $0.52 or 1.2 percent at $42.42 a barrel.

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