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Hong Kong Bourse May Extend Thursday's Losses

The Hong Kong stock market on Thursday snapped the five-day winning streak in which it had surged more than 1,720 points or 6.2 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 29,925-point plateau and it may take further damage 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 Hang Seng finished slightly lower on Thursday following profit taking among the technology stocks, gains from the financials and mixed performances from the casinos and oil companies.

For the day, the index dropped 34.71 points or 0.12 percent to finish at 29,927.76 after trading between 29,745.87 and 30,135.50.

Among the actives, Xiaomi Corporation plummeted 3.13 percent, while Hang Lung Properties surged 2.63 percent, AAC Technologies plunged 2.59 percent, China Mengniu Dairy tanked 2.43 percent, Alibaba Group tumbled 2.42 percent, CK Infrastructure soared 2.21 percent, ANTA Sports skidded 2.17 percent, Galaxy Entertainment spiked 2.07 percent, Techtronic Industries accelerated 1.94 percent, CNOOC retreated 1.90 percent, WuXi Biologics declined 1.89 percent, China Resources Land surrendered 1.85 percent, AIA Group sank 1.33 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas jumped 1.25 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) climbed 1.23 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 1.17 percent, Sands China dropped 1.11 percent, BOC Hong Kong gathered 1.03 percent, CITIC perked 0.95 percent, Meituan advanced 0.86 percent, New World Development added 0.81 percent, China Life Insurance gained 0.78 percent, Ping An Insurance shed 0.69 percent, Henderson Land rose 0.62 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical lost 0.56 percent, Hengan International fell 0.27 percent, Wharf Real Estate slid 0.23 percent, Power Assets was up 0.12 percent and Sun Hung Kai Properties was 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.

Closer to home, Hong Kong will see Q1 results for its business confidence index later today; the reading in the previous three months was -8.

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