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China Stock Market May Be Stuck In Neutral On Friday

The China stock market has climbed higher in consecutive trading days, advancing more than 50 points or 1.4 percent along the way. The Shanghai Composite Index now sits just above the 3,620-point plateau although the rally may stall on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to lower as many of the regional bourses have been overbought in the rally leading up to U.S. President Joe Biden's inauguration, so profit taking may be in order. The European markets were down and the U.S. markets were mixed and the Asian bourses figure to split the difference.

The SCI finished sharply higher on Thursday following sharp gains from the resource stocks that were tempered by weakness from the financials and properties.

For the day, the index gathered 38.17 points or 1.07 percent to finish at 3,621.26 after trading between 3,585.80 and 3,636.24. The Shenzhen Composite Index perked 36.82 points or 1.53 percent to end at 2,449.37.

Among the actives, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China shed 0.39 percent, while Bank of China fell 0.31 percent, China Construction Bank lost 0.59 percent, China Merchants Bank jumped 1.78 percent, Bank of Communications slid 0.22 percent, China Life Insurance dropped 0.98 percent, Jiangxi Copper surged 7.25 percent, Aluminum Corp of China (Chalco) rallied 4.55 percent, Yanzhou Coal spiked 2.30 percent, PetroChina sank 0.47 percent, China Shenhua Energy gained 0.48 percent, Gemdale tanked 2.12 percent, Poly Developments plunged 2.30 percent, China Vanke retreated 1.31 percent and China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) and Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks were lackluster on Thursday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before finishing mixed and little changed.

The Dow dipped 12.37 points or 0.04 percent to finish at 31,176.01, while the NASDAQ climbed 73.67 points or 0.55 percent to end at 13,530.92 and the S&P 500 rose 1.22 points or 0.03 percent to close at 3,853.07.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders expressed some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets, which may be overbought following the run to record highs.

Optimism about ramped up efforts to combat the coronavirus under new President Joe Biden have also helped to prop up the markets, including the possibility of more stimulus.

In economic news, the Labor Department reported a pullback in initial jobless claims last week. The Commerce Department also released a report showing new residential construction in the U.S. jumped by more than expected in December.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Thursday after data from the American Petroleum Institute showed an increase in U.S. crude stockpiles last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended down $0.18 or 0.3 percent at $53.13 a barrel.

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