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(RTTNews.com) – The China stock market has moved lower in three straight sessions, slipping almost 30 points or 0.9 percent along the way. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just above the 3,125-point plateau and the market is looking at a flat lead for Friday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat ahead of key U.S. employment later today, along with a decline in the price of crude oil. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.
The SCI finished slightly lower on Thursday as weakness from the oil companies was tempered by mixed performances from the financials and properties.
Among the actives, Agricultural Bank of China added 0.30 percent, while Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China were unchanged, Vanke advanced 0.85 percent, Gemdale shed 0.37 percent, PetroChina lost 0.26 percent and China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) dipped 0.35 percent.
The lead from Wall Street offers little guidance as stocks showed a lack of direction on Thursday before ending mixed.
The Dow shed 6.43 points or 0.1 percent to 20,951.47, while the NASDAQ crept up 2.79 points or 0.1 percent to 6,075.34 and the S&P gained 1.39 points or 0.1 percent to 2,389.52.
The choppy trading came ahead of the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report later today. Employment is called higher by 180,000 jobs in April after rising by 98,000 jobs in March.
In economic news, the Labor Department said first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected in the week ended April 29. It also noted an unexpected drop in labor productivity in the first quarter along with a bigger than expected jump in unit labor costs.
Also, the Commerce Department said the trade deficit was little changed in March amid drops in both imports and exports. It also said factory orders crept up 0.2 percent in March after surging a revised 1.2 percent in February.
Crude oil futures plummeted Thursday amid unrelenting U.S. production. June WTI oil dropped $2.30 or 4.8 percent to $45.52/bbl, the lowest since November. Crude oil prices have plunged 15 percent over the past three weeks.
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