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China Stock Market May See Additional Support

The China stock market has finished higher now in seven straight sessions, surging almost 90 points or 3.7 percent en route to a fresh 14-week closing high. The Shanghai Composite Index finished just shy of the 2,450-point plateau, and now investors are anticipating another strong open for the market when it kicks off trade on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is cautiously optimistic after most of the regional bourses saw heavy selling in the previous session. The markets may benefit from a pullback in the price of crude oil, as well as news that Germany's lower house of parliament passed a second Greek bailout package. Upbeat economic data from the United States adds to the positive sentiment. The European markets finished lower and the U.S. bourses were mixed but little changed, and the Asian markets are called slightly higher.

The SCI finished slightly higher on Monday following gains from the oil companies and the automobile producers.

For the day, the index added 7.43 points or 0.30 percent to finish at 2,447.06 after trading between 2,444.63 and 2,478.38. The Shenzhen Composite Index collected 3 points or 0.3 percent to end at 975.62.

Among the gainers, China Oilfield Services climbed 2.1 percent, while PetroChina gathered 1.2 percent, Sinopec was up 0.8 percent, FAW Car jumped 2 percent, BYD collected 0.2 percent and Chongqing Changan Automobile surged 5 percent.

The lead from Wall Street provides little clarity as stocks staged a significant recovery later on Monday after moving sharply lower at the open. Buying interest waned thereafter, however, and the markets eventually ended the session roughly flat.

Renewed concerns about the financial situation in Europe contributed to the initial weakness on Wall Street, as the G20 called for a further enhancement of Europe's bailout fund before the rest of the G20 nations can consider increasing their contribution to the International Monetary Fund's resources.

Upbeat housing data contributed to the subsequent recovery, as the National Association of Realtors reported that its pending home sales index rose by more than expected in January, reaching its highest level since April 2010. NAR said its pending home sales index rose 2.0 percent to 97.0 in January from a downwardly revised 95.1 in December. Economists had been expecting to index to increase by about 1.5 percent.

While the markets also benefited from a pullback by the price of crude oil as well as news that Germany's lower house of parliament voted in favor of a second Greek bailout package, traders seemed somewhat reluctant to continue buying stocks in afternoon trading.

Among individual stocks, Transocean (RIG) rose by 5.3 percent after reporting a fourth quarter loss of $18.62 per share, including items that impacted results by $18.80 per share. Operating revenues rose to $2.42 billion from $2.13 billion a year earlier.

Home improvement retailer Lowe's (LOW) also closed higher after reporting fourth quarter earnings of $0.26 per share on revenues of $11.6 billion. The results exceeded estimates. The company also updated its 2012 guidance, forecasting earnings of $1.75 to $1.85 per share on 1 to 2 percent sales growth.

Once again, the Dow reached an intraday high above 13,000 but ended the session modestly lower. While the Dow edged down 1.44 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 12,981.51, the NASDAQ inched up 2.41 points or 0.1 percent to 2,966.16 and the S&P 500 rose 1.85 points or 0.1 percent to 1,367.59.

In corporate news, China Yuchai International's fourth-quarter 2011 total net profit attributable to shareholders slipped to RMB 342.6 million or RMB 9.19 per share from RMB 448.9 million, or RMB 12.05 per share in the prior-year quarter. Net revenue for the 2011 fourth quarter was RMB 3.75 billion or $594.61 million compared with RMB 3.79 billion or $601.1 million in 2010.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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