RTTNews - The China stock market has finished lower now in three straight sessions, losing nearly 80 points or 3 percent along the way. The Shanghai Composite Index eased below support at the 2,600-point plateau, and now investors are not expecting the market to reclaim that level at the opening of trade on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is fairly flat with perhaps a touch of downside. There is little in the way of economic data or corporate news due for release ahead of the long holiday weekend in the United States. The European markets finished little changed in mixed fashion, while the U.S. bourses wound up with slight losses, and the Asian markets are also expected to see thin trade.

The SCI finished modestly lower on Friday, dragged into negative territory by weakness among the commodities - coal stocks in particular.

For the day, the index retreated 13.02 points or 0.50 percent to close at 2,597.60 after trading between 2,578.59 and 2,617.75 on turnover of 98.8 billion yuan. There were 471 gainers and 393 decliners.

Among the gainers, Shenzhen Topraysolar jumped 5.26 percent, while Goldwind Science and Technology advanced 1.41 percent and Haier climbed 4.20 percent. Finishing lower, China Shenhua Energy lost 2.06 percent and Western Mining sagged 2.62 percent.

Wall Street offers little in the way of guidance as stocks closed Friday's quiet session little changed, with traders hesitant to take positions ahead of the long Memorial Day weekend. Bargain hunting drove gains into the late afternoon, but the major averages fell uniformly heading down the home stretch.

The dollar continued to take a brutal beating, as traders continued their exodus from the world's reserve currency amid speculation that the global economy is on the mend. As earnings season winds to a close, traders considered encouraging earnings data from Sears Holdings (SHLD), Gap (GPS) and Campbell's Soup (CPB), prompting some of the gains in equities.

On the corporate front, McDonald's (MCD) added 2.5 percent on the day. With the climb, the stock extended recent gains, moving to its highest level since February. Meanwhile, shares of Disney (DIS) and E.I. Du Pont De Nemours (DD) were also higher, rising by 2 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively, taking back some of their recent losses. The blue chip index was limited by shares of General Motors (GM) which plunged 25 percent, as the firm is likely heading towards bankruptcy.

The Dow slipped 14.81 points or 0.18 percent to finished 8277.32, while the NASDAQ lost 3.24 points or 0.19 percent to end at 1692.01, and the S&P 500 shed 1.33 points or 0.15 percent to close at 887.

In corporate news, oil producer PetroChina will purchase Keppel Corp's 45.5 percent stake in Singapore Petroleum Company for 1.47 billion Singapore dollars and intends to make a general offer to buy the rest of the firm, the company said over the weekend. The deal valued Keppel at 3.2 billion Singapore dollars. It was an equivalent of 6.25 Singapore dollars for each SPC share. The deal still needs regulatory approval.

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