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China Stock Market Has Flat Lead For Friday

The China stock market has inched higher in consecutive trading days, collecting just 3 points or 0.1 percent along the way. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just beneath the 2,885-point plateau and it's expected to stay in that neighborhood again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat to lower ahead of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's speech later today at the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and little changed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The SCI finished slightly higher on Thursday following losses from the financials, oil and energy companies and properties.

For the day, the index rose 3.11 points or 0.11 percent to finish at 2,883.44 after trading between 2,867.55 and 2,888.50. The Shenzhen Composite Index added 6.29 points or 0.40 percent to finish at 1,578.91.

Among the actives, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China shed 0.74 percent, while Bank of China lost 0.28 percent, China Construction Bank fell 0.71 percent, China Merchants Bank slid 0.31 percent, China Life Insurance sank 0.45 percent, Ping An Insurance added 0.28 percent, PetroChina was down 0.32 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) was down 0.40 percent, China Shenhua Energy tumbled 1.90 percent, Gemdale skidded 0.65 percent, Poly Developments skidded 1.24 percent, China Vanke retreated 0.84 percent and CITIC Securities added 0.31 percent.

The lead from Wall Street offers little guidance as stocks failed to sustain an early move to the upside on Thursday and showed a lack of direction before finishing mixed.

The Dow added 49.51 points or 0.19 percent to 26,252.24, while the NASDAQ lost 28.82 points or 0.36 percent to 7,991.39 and the S&P 500 fell 1.48 points or 0.05 percent to 2,922.95.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came amid another inversion of the yield curve, with the yield on the two-year note briefly dropping below the yield on the ten-year note after the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting failed to provide much clarity about the outlook for interest rates.

In economic news, the Labor Department said first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell by much more than expected last week. Also, the Conference Board said its leading U.S. economic indicators rose by much more than anticipated in July.

Crude oil prices edged lower Thursday on concerns about the outlook for near-term energy demand due to a slowing global economy. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for October ended down $0.33 or 0.6 percent at $55.35 a barrel.

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