China Stock Market May Find Resistance At 2,500 Points

( - The China stock market on Friday ended the three-day slide in which it had fallen almost 45 points or 1.8 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just beneath the 2,495-point plateau although it may hand back those gains on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky, with limited bargain hunting and thin trade expected before the New Year holiday. The European markets were up on Friday and the U.S. bourses were mixed and little changed - and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The SCI finished modestly higher on Friday as gains from the financial shares and properties were capped by weakness from the oil companies.

For the day, the index gained 10.81 points or 0.44 percent to finish at 2,493.90 after trading between 2,478.32 and 2,505.11. The Shenzhen Composite Index tumbled 15.56 points or 1.22 percent to end at 1,264.23.

Among the actives, China Merchants Bank jumped1.41 percent, while Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.19 percent, Bank of China shed 0.55 percent, China Construction Bank climbed 1.27 percent, China Life Insurance gained 0.15 percent, Ping An Insurance skidded 1.41 percent, PetroChina eased 0.14 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) plunged 3.81 percent, Gemdale added 0.73 percent, Poly Developments perked 0.34 percent, China Vanke jumped 1.62 percent and CITIC Securities was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is mixed as stocks saw continued volatility with wild swings on Friday before ending mixed and little changed.

The Dow shed 76.42 points or 0.33 percent to 23,062.40, while the NASDAQ added 5.03 points or 0.08 percent to 6,584.52 and the S&P 500 fell 3.09 points or 0.12 percent to 2,485.74. For the week, the Dow jumped 2.7 percent, the NASDAQ soared 4 percent and the S&P gained 2.9 percent.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders took a breather following the volatility in the past few sessions. Stocks moved sharply lower over much of the trading session on Friday before surging in the final hour of trade.

In economic news, the National Association of Realtors noted a continued drop in pending home sales in November. Also, MNI Indicators said growth in Chicago-area business activity pulled back less than expected in December.

Crude oil futures ended higher Friday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration noted a less than expected decline in stockpiles last week. Crude oil futures for February ended up $0.72 or 1.6 percent at $45.33 a barrel.

Closer to home, China will release December results for manufacturing, non-manufacturing and composite indexes later this morning. In November, the manufacturing index had a score of 50.0, while the non-manufacturing index came in at 53.4 and the composite was at 52.8.

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