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Hong Kong Stock Market May Give Up 24,000-Point Level On Friday

The Hong Kong stock market on Thursday halted the two-day winning streak in which it had jumped more than 550 points or 2.3 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just beneath the 24,160-point plateau and it's looking at another soft start again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative on rising coronavirus cases and falling hopes for stimulus. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses are predicted to follow suit.

The Hang Seng finished sharply lower on Thursday with damage across the board - especially the technology stocks, financials and oil companies.

For the day, the index plummeted 508.55 points or 2.06 percent to finish at 24,158.54 after trading between 24,102.21 and 24,573.25.

Among the actives, Alibaba plummeted 4.30 percent, while AIA Group plunged 3.69 percent, Xiaomi tanked 3.44 percent, China Mobile tumbled 2.05 percent, WH Group skidded 1.94 percent, BOC Hong Kong retreated 1.86 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical declined 1.62 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas surrendered 1.58 percent, CNOOC sank 1.49 percent, Sands China dropped 1.28 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) shed 0.99 percent, China Life Insurance lost 0.78 percent, CITIC fell 0.71 percent, Galaxy Entertainment slid 0.68 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China dipped 0.47 percent and Ping An Insurance was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened sharply lower on Friday, then cut into the losses as the session progressed but still finished in the red for the second straight day.

The Dow fell 19.80 points or 0.07 percent to finish at 28,494.20, while the NASDAQ lost 54.86 points or 0.47 percent to end at 11,713.87 and the S&P 500 eased 5.33 points or 0.15 percent to close at 3,483.34.

The initial sell-off on Wall Street came amid uncertainty about a new stimulus bill after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested on Wednesday that a new relief package is not likely to pass before next month's elections.

Early selling pressure was also generated by a Labor Department report showing an unexpected increase in first-time claims for U.S. jobless benefits last week.

However, stocks rebounded well off their lows after Mnuchin told reporters that he and President Donald Trump are committed to getting a stimulus deal done.

Crude oil prices rebounded from early weakness to pare most of their losses on Thursday after data showed a larger than expected drop in U.S. crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended down $0.08 or 0.2 percent at $40.96 a barrel.

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