(RTTNews.com) – The China stock market has tracked higher in to straight sessions, gathering more than 30 points or 1 percent along the way. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just above the 3,080-point plateau although it may run out of steam on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat, mirroring the price of crude oil and in response to mixed economic data. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were largely unchanged, and the Asian markets are expected to split the difference.
The SCI finished modestly higher on Friday as gains from the financials and properties were capped by weakness from the resource stocks.
Among the actives, Agricultural Bank of China jumped 1.47 percent, while Bank of China climbed 1.38 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China spiked 2.64 percent, Vanke added 0.83 percent, Gemdale gained 0.46 percent, PetroChina shed 0.26 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) advanced 1.21 percent and China Shenhua fell 0.35 percent.
The lead from Wall Street provides little clarity as stocks turned in a lackluster performance on Friday before ending mixed.
The NASDAQ added 5.27 points or 0.1 percent to 6,121.23, while the Dow fell 22.81 points or 0.1 percent to 20,896.61 and the S&P lost 3.54 points or 0.2 percent to 2,390.90. For the week, the NASDAQ gained 0.3 percent, the Dow fell 0.5 percent and the S&P eased 0.3 percent.
In economic news, the Commerce Department saw a smaller than expected gain in retail sales in April, while the Labor Department said that consumer prices rebounded in line with estimates in April. Also, the University of Michigan noted a modest improvement in consumer sentiment in May.
Crude oil futures were flat Friday, as industry data showed U.S. drillers added rigs for a 17th week in a row. WTI light sweet crude oil was up a penny at $47.84 a barrel, keeping its gain of 3.5 percent for the week.
Closer to home, China will release April figures for retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment later this morning.
Retail sales are expected to add 10.8 percent on year, down from 10.9 percent in March. Output is called higher by 7.0 percent on year, slowing from 7.6 percent in the previous month. FAI is pegged at 9.1 percent on year, slowing from 9.2 percent in the previous month.
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