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Rally May Stall For Hong Kong Stock Market

The Hong Kong stock market has moved higher in two straight sessions, jumping almost 700 points or 3 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now sits just above the 24,430-point plateau although it may be spinning its wheels on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to lower, with oil and technology stocks likely to drag the markets to the downside. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The Hang Seng finished slightly higher on Thursday as gains from the financials and oil companies were offset by weakness from the technology and property stocks.

For the day, the index picked up 27.60 points or 0.11 percent to finish at 24,429.77 after trading between 24,289.19 and 24,561.48.

Among the actives, AAC Technologies retreated 1.04 percent, while AIA Group rallied 1.60 percent, Alibaba Group dropped 0.60 percent, Alibaba Health Info plummeted 7.00 percent, ANTA Sports climbed 1.58 percent, China Life Insurance collected 1.80 percent, China Mengniu Dairy rose 0.95 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) spiked 2.54 percent, China Resources Land declined 1.78 percent, CITIC soared 3.02 percent, CNOOC gained 0.98 percent, Country Garden plunged 4.85 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical added 1.19 percent, ENN Energy surged 3.37 percent, Galaxy Entertainment tumbled 2.75 percent, Hang Lung Properties dipped 0.12 percent, Henderson Land fell 0.30 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas advanced 1.33 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China jumped 1.95 percent, JD.com tanked 3.93 percent, Li Ning and New World Development both increased 0.82 percent, Longfor skidded 0.86 percent, Meituan lost 0.35 percent, Techtronic Industries shed 0.49 percent, Xiaomi Corporation sank 0.74 percent and WuXi Biologics surrendered 1.62 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as the major averages opened higher on Thursday but gradually faded into the red as the day progressed.

The Dow dropped 176.70 points or 0.49 percent to finish at 36,113.62, while the NASDAQ plummeted 381.58 points or 2.51 percent to end at 14,806.58 and the S&P 500 sank 67.32 points or 1.42 percent to close at 4,659.03.

The sharp pullback by the NASDAQ came as traders cashed in on recent strength in the tech sector. Tech stocks got off to a rocky start in the New Year amid concerns about higher interest rates but regained some ground earlier this week.

Traders were also digesting another reading on U.S. inflation, with a report from the Labor Department showing only a slight uptick in U.S. producer prices last month. A separate report from the Labor Department showed an increase in initial jobless claims last week.

Crude oil prices gave ground on Thursday as investors cashed in on recent gains that led to a two-month closing high. West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery slid $0.52 or 0.6 percent to $82.12 a barrel after jumping $1.42 or 1.7 percent to $82.64 a barrel in the previous session.

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