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Soft Start Anticipated For China Stock Market

The China stock market turned emphatically lower again on Friday, one session after snapping the three-day slide in which it had dropped almost 130 points or 3.8 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index now sits just beneath the 3,510-point plateau and it may take further damage on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to lower on concerns over bond yields and sliding crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were mixed with a soft bias and the Asian markets are tipped to follow that lead.

The SCI finished sharply lower on Friday following losses from the financials, resource stocks and oil and insurance companies, while the properties were mixed.

For the day, the index plunged 75.97 points or 2.12 percent to finish at 3,509.08 after trading between 3,500.70 and 3,550.41. The Shenzhen Composite Index tumbled 41.71 points or 1.79 percent to end at 2,293.69.

Among the actives, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China skidded 1.29 percent, Bank of China fell 0.31 percent, China Construction Bank retreated 1.36 percent, China Merchants Bank plunged 6.15 percent, Bank of Communications dropped 1.08 percent, China Life Insurance plummeted 6.22 percent, Jiangxi Copper declined 2.11 percent, Aluminum Corp of China (Chalco) tanked 5.97 percent, Yanzhou Coal tumbled 2.03 percent, PetroChina sank 1.58 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) surrendered 3.22 percent, China Shenhua Energy cratered 4.16 percent, Gemdale lost 4.66 percent, Poly Developments shed 3.30 percent, China Vanke added 0.33 percent and China Fortune Land surged 8.86 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is volatile after the major averages saw wild swings on Friday, finally finishing on opposite sides of the unchanged line.

The Dow tumbled 469.64 points or 1.50 percent to finish at 30,932.37, while the NASDAQ gained 72.92 points or 0.56 percent to close at 13,192.35 and the S&P 500 fell 18.19 points or 0.48 percent to close at 3,811.15. For the week, the NASDAQ plummeted 4.9 percent, the S&P sank 2.4 percent and the Dow lost 1.8 percent.

The volatility came as traders watched the bond markets following the recent spike in yields. Yields also fluctuated as the day progressed, rebounding near the unchanged line after seeing early weakness before moving to the downside.

The fluctuations in the bond markets followed another batch of upbeat U.S. economic data. The Commerce Department said U.S. personal income skyrocketed in January, reflecting the issuance of $600 stimulus checks.

But the report also showed inflation remained relatively tame. Concerns about inflation have weighed on treasuries despite Fed Chair Jerome Powell's repeated assurances the central bank plans to maintain interest rates at near-zero levels for the foreseeable future.

Crude oil prices drifted lower Friday as the dollar gained strength amid rising bond yields and solid economic data. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $2.03 or 3.2 percent at $61.50 a barrel.

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