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Little Movement Expected For Hong Kong Stock Market

The Hong Kong stock market moved higher again on Friday, one session after snapping the seven-day winning streak in which it had surged more than 1,950 points or 7 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just beneath the 30,650-point plateau am dot figures to remain in that neighborhood again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests a touch of upside, with stimulus optimism tempered by inflation concerns. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. bourses were mixed and flat - and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Friday following gains from the insurance companies, mixed performances from the technology stocks, financials and properties and weakness from the oil companies and casinos.

For the day, the index added 49.43 points or 0.16 percent to finish at 30,644.73 after trading between 30,099.71 and 30,720.15.

Among the actives, Xiaomi Corporation skyrocketed 6.42 percent, while CSPC Pharmaceutical surged 4.47 percent, China Mengniu Dairy soared 3.72 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) plummeted 2.53 percent, Sung Hung Kai Properties spiked 2.52 percent, Ping An Insurance accelerated 2.47 percent, CNOOC plunged 2.08 percent, Galaxy Entertainment tanked 2.05 percent, China Resources Land rallied 1.54 percent, Sands China tumbled 1.53 percent, AAC Technologies jumped 1.43 percent, Alibaba Group skidded 1.31 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China retreated 1.18 percent, Meituan declined 1.03 percent, Henderson Land climbed 0.94 percent, Hang Lung Properties surrendered 0.92 percent, Wharf Real Estate and Techtronic Industries both sank 0.86 percent, China Life Insurance and BOC Hong Kong both collected 0.83 percent, CITIC dropped 0.78 percent, WuXi Biologics advanced 0.69 percent, ANTA Sports added 0.42 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas gained 0.36 percent, Power Assets perked 0.24 percent, CLP Holdings lost 0.21 percent, New World Development fell 0.13 percent and AIA Group rose 0.10 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is uninspired as stocks were unable to hold early gains on Friday, finishing on opposite sides of the unchanged line.

The Dow rose 1.02 points or 0.01 percent to finish at 31,494.32, while the NASDAQ added 9.11 points or 0.07 percent to end at 13,874.46 and the S&P 500 dipped 7.26 points or 0.19 percent to close at 3,906.71. For the week, the Dow rose 0.1 percent, the NASDAQ sank 1.6 percent and the S&P fell 0.7 percent.

Continued optimism about more fiscal stimulus fueled the early strength on Wall Street, as new Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. urged lawmakers to approve President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion relief package.

However, buying interest waned amid a jump in treasury yields, with the yield on the benchmark ten-year note reading its highest closing level in almost a year - spurring concerns for the outlook for interest rates amid potentially higher inflation.

In U.S. economic news, the National Association of Realtors reported another unexpected increase in U.S. existing home sales in January.

Crude oil prices drifted lower Friday as worries about supply disruptions eased after most of the oil companies in Texas prepared to resume production. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended lower by $1.28 or 2.1 percent at $59.24 a barrel.

Closer to home, Hong Kong will see January figures for consumer prices later today; in December, overall inflation was down 0.7 percent on year.

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