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Hong Kong Shares May Extend Monday's Gains

The Hong Kong stock market on Monday wrote a finish to the five-day losing streak in which it had plummeted almost 800 points or 2.7 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just beneath the 29,140-point plateau and it may see continued if mild support again on Tuesday.

The global forecast is mixed, with technology and oil stocks expected to cap gains from the broader markets. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were mixed, and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Monday as gains from the oil and insurance companies were tempered by weakness from the property sector.

For the day, the index climbed 64.04 points or 0.22 percent to finish at 29,138.28 after trading between 28,803.19 and 29,343.78.

Among the actives, Kunlun Energy surged 2.94 percent, while Hang Lung Properties plunged 2.35 percent, Ping An Insurance spiked 2.25 percent, Henderson Land tumbled 1.88 percent, Cathay Pacific Airways skidded 1.52 percent, CNOOC climbed 1.50 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) jumped 1.09 percent, AIA Group advanced 0.63 percent, China Life added 0.59 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China shed 0.16 percent and Lenovo Group and Belle International were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is murky as stocks turned mixed Monday after an initial move to the upside. The Dow reached a new record closing high, but the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 ended in the red.

The Dow rose 58.46 points or 0.24 percent to 24,290.05, but the NASDAQ tumbled 72.22 points or 1.05 percent to 6,775.37 and the S&P 500 edged down 2.78 points or 0.11 percent to 2,639.44.

Traders reacted to news that Senate Republicans narrowly approved a massive tax reform bill early Saturday morning. The Senate voted 51 to 49 in favor of the bill known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, with the vote coming down along party lines.

The pullback by the NASDAQ partly reflected concerns that technology companies will not benefit as much from the tax cuts.

In economic news, the Commerce Department released a report showing a modest decrease in new orders for manufactured goods in October.

Crude oil futures fell Monday for the first time in three sessions as a strong dollar dented commodity prices. January WTI oil was down 89 cents or 1.5 percent to settle at $57.47/bbl.

by RTT Staff Writer

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