China Stock Market May Spin Its Wheels On Monday

(RTTNews) – The China stock market has finished higher in three straight sessions, collecting almost 40 points or 1.2 percent along the way. The Shanghai Composite Index now sits just above the 3,375-point plateau although it may be stuck in neutral on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is uninspired thanks to a continued surge in Covid-19 cases worldwide. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The SCI finished modestly higher on Friday as gains from the resources and energy stocks were capped by weakness from the financials and properties.

For the day, the index gained 14.64 points or 0.44 percent to finish at 3,377.73 after trading between 3,356.31 and 3,380.15. The Shenzhen Composite Index climbed 13.66 points or 0.60 percent to finish at 2,289.51.

Among the actives, Jiangxi Copper soared 5.13 percent, while Yanzhou Coal spiked 1.72 percent, Aluminum Corp of China surged 7.10 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China dipped 0.20 percent, Bank of China fell 0.31 percent, China Construction Bank skidded 1.20 percent, China Merchants Bank collected 0.40 percent, Bank of Communications slid 0.22 percent, China Life Insurance tumbled 1.62 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) dropped 0.73 percent, Huaneng Power perked 0.40 percent, China Shenhua Energy added 0.62 percent, Gemdale retreated 0.99 percent, Poly Developments was down 0.18 percent, China Vanke eased 0.13 percent and PetroChina was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened lower on Friday and largely remained in the red, finishing firmly in negative territory.

The Dow shed 219.75 points or 0.75 percent to finish at 29,263.48, while the NASDAQ sank 49.74 points or 0.42 percent to end at 11,854.976 and the S&P 500 fell 24.33 points or 0.68 percent to close at 3,557.54. For the week, the Dow fell 0.7 percent, the NASDAQ rose 0.2 percent and the S&P fell 0.8 percent.

The weakness on Wall Street reflected concerns about the near-term economic outlook amid a continued spike in new coronavirus cases in the U.S. Data showed nearly 188,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, while the daily death toll topped 2,000 for the first time.

The continued surge in new cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S. has raised concerns new restrictions and lockdowns will dampen the economy recovery. While there continues to be upbeat news on the vaccine front, traders seem worried about an economic downturn leading up to the widespread distribution of a vaccine.

Adding to the economic uncertainty, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced a decision to allow five of the Federal Reserve’s nine emergency lending programs to expire at the end of the year.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Friday, lifted by optimism about a likely pick-up in energy demand once the Covid-19 vaccines get the nod from drug regulators. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December settled at $42.15 a barrel, gaining $0.41 or 1 percent on the expiration day. New front-month contract January WTI futures were up by $0.52 or 1.2 percent at $42.42 a barrel.

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