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China Stock Market May Extend Win Streak

The China stock market has moved higher now in seven consecutive trading days, surging more than 145 points or 6.2 percent in that span. The Shanghai Composite Index finished just below the 2,435-point plateau, and now investors are looking for further upside when the market kicks off trade on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat, thanks to bargain hunting after heavy losses in the previous session - as well as support from the technology stocks. The tech bump comes from computer giant Dell, which agreed to be acquired by founder Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake. The European and U.S. markets ended higher and the Asian bourses are expected to open in similar fashion.

The SCI finished slightly higher on Tuesday as gains from the property stocks were offset by weakness from the financial shares.

For the day, the index added 4.98 points or 0.20 percent to finish at 2433.13 after trading between 2,403.30 and 2,437.41. The Shenzhen Composite Index jumped 1.2 percent to end at 947.00.

Among the actives, China Vanke spiked 3.6 percent, Poly Real Estate climbed 2.2 percent and Gemdale surged 7.6 percent, while Bank of Communications shed 2.9 percent, China Merchants Bank lost 1.2 percent and China Construction Bank fell 1.4 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks showed a strong move back to the upside on Tuesday, after moving sharply lower in the previous session. The gains nearly offset Monday's losses, although the major averages remained below last Friday's closing highs.

The Institute for Supply Management showed that activity in the U.S. service sector continued to expand in January, although the pace of growth slowed from a month earlier. The ISM said its non-manufacturing index edged down to 55.2 in January from a revised 55.7 in December, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the service sector.

News on the merger-and-acquisition front also contributed to the rebound by stocks, with Dell (DELL) moving to the upside after the computer giant agreed to be acquired by founder Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake. Dell said the terms of the agreement call for its shareholders to receive $13.65 in cash for each share of Dell common stock they hold, resulting in a transaction valued at approximately $24.4 billion.

Additionally, shares of Virgin Media (VMED) moved sharply higher after the British cable company confirmed that it is in talks with John Malone's Liberty Global (LBTYA) regarding a possible takeover. Virgin Media surged 17.9 percent on the day.

The major U.S. averages rebounded on Tuesday as the Dow rose 99.22 points or 0.7 percent to finish at 13,979.30, while the NASDAQ jumped 40.41 points or 1.3 percent to close at 3,171.58 and the S&P 500 surged 15.58 points or 1 percent to end at 1,511.29.

In economic news, China's service sector growth accelerated in January, a report from Markit Economics revealed on Tuesday. The HSBC/Markit business activity index rose to 54 in January from 51.7 in December. A reading above 50 indicates expansion of the sector.

by RTT Staff Writer

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