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Mild Support Anticipated For Hong Kong Stock Market

The Hong Kong stock market has moved lower in back-to-back trading days, sinking almost 600 points or 2.4 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 24,530-point plateau and it's expected to remain in that neighborhood again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets remains mired in uncertainty, balancing better than expected economic data, tumbling crude oil prices and continued uncertainty over stimulus. The European and U.S. markets were slightly higher and the Asian markets now look to open roughly flat.

The Hang Seng finished sharply lower on Friday following losses from the properties, financials and oil and insurance companies.

For the day, the index tumbled 398.96 points or 1.60 percent to finish at 24,531.62 after trading between 24,167.79 and 24,909.37.

Among the actives, Tencent Holdings plummeted 5.04 percent, while CSPC Pharmaceutical plunged 2.60 percent, WH Group tanked 2.52 percent, AAC Technologies tumbled 2.00 percent, China Mengniu Dairy skidded 1.80 percent, CNOOC retreated 1.74 percent, China Life Insurance declined 1.73 percent, New World Development surrendered 1.67 percent, Sun Hung Kai Properties sank 1.56 percent, Hengan International jumped 1.28 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) dropped 1.15 percent, Galaxy Entertainment climbed 1.13 percent, CITIC shed 1.09 percent, China Resources Land and Techtronic Industries both lost 1.06 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas weakened 0.91 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China fell 0.87 percent, Ping An Insurance slid 0.73 percent, BOC Hong Kong dipped 0.70 percent, AIA Group slipped 0.63 percent, China Mobile was down 0.37 percent, Sands China eased 0.17 percent and Wharf Real Estate was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks opened lower Friday and remained in the red throughout much of the day until a late rally pushed the Dow and S&P barely into the green - although the NASDAQ stayed negative on profit taking after big gains last week.

The Dow added 46.50 points or 0.17 percent to finish at 27,433.48, while the NASDAQ dropped 97.09 points or 0.87 percent to end at 11,010.98 and the S&P 500 rose 2.12 points or 0.06 percent to close at 3,351.28.

The uncertainty on Wall Street was the result of growing uncertainty about a new coronavirus relief plan following the failure of the lawmakers to arrive at an agreement amid reports of spiked in various cases around the world.

Tensions between the U.S. and China have escalated following the Trump administration unveiling a ban on U.S. transactions with ByteDance's TikTok and Tencent-owned WeChat.

In economic data, the Labor Department reported a larger than expected increase in employment last month as the jobless rate fell to 10.2 percent.

Crude oil prices drifted lower Friday on concerns about outlook for energy demand after reports showed spikes in coronavirus cases in several parts across the world. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for September ended down $0.67 or 1.6 percent at $41.28 a barrel. For the week, WTI crude oil futures gained 2.1 percent.

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