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Rally May Stall For Hong Kong Stock Market

The Hong Kong stock market has moved higher in two straight sessions, advancing almost 340 points or 1.3 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just beneath the 28,575-point plateau although it may head south again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative on disappointing earnings news and ongoing concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asia bourses figure to follow suit.

The Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Friday following gains from the financials and insurance companies, while the oil companies and properties were mixed and the casinos were soft.

For the day, the index gained 76.96 points or 0.27 percent to finish at 28,573.86 after trading between 28,294.66 and 28,667.59.

Among the actives, Xiaomi Corporation cratered 10.26 percent, AIA Group surged 3.67 percent, Ping An Insurance soared 3.51 percent, AAC Technologies plummeted 2.68 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China spiked 2.58 percent, Alibaba Group accelerated 2.55 percent, Techtronic Industries plunged 2.05 percent, Sands China tanked 1.92 percent, Meituan tumbled 1.79 percent, WuXi Biologics skidded 1.62 percent, China Mengniu Dairy sank 1.14 percent, Galaxy Entertainment dropped 1.11 percent, CNOOC shed 1.10 percent, BOC Hong Kong lost 1.01 percent, CITIC and CSPC Pharmaceutical both fell 0.99 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) added 0.76 percent, ANTA Sports and Power Assets both slid 0.61 percent, Sun Hing Kai Properties gained 0.56 percent, China Resources Land rose 0.48 percent, China Life Insurance collected 0.46 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas dipped 0.35 percent and New World Development was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened sharply lower on Friday; the major averages recouped some of the losses but still finished firmly in the red.

The Dow shed 177.26 points or 0.57 percent to finish at 30,814.26, while the NASDAQ sank 114.14 points or 0.87 percent to end at 12,998.50 and the S&P 500 fell 27.29 points or 0.72 percent to close at 3,768.25. For the week, the Dow lost 0.9 percent and the NASDAQ and S&P both fell 1.5 percent.

The early sell-off on Wall Street reflected a negative reaction to disappointing earnings news from financial giants Wells Fargo (WFC), Citigroup (C) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM).

Negative sentiment was also generated by a report from the Commerce Department showing a continued decline in U.S. retail sales in December. But the Federal Reserve released a separate report showing U.S. industrial production jumped much more than expected last month.

Crude oil futures settled sharply lower on Friday as worries about energy demand resurfaced amid rising coronavirus cases and tighter restrictions. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February ended down $1.21 or 2.3 percent at $52.36 a barrel.

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