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Higher Open Called For China Stock Market

The China stock market has finished higher in two straight sessions, gathering almost 70 points or 2.8 percent along the way. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just beneath the 2,535-point plateau and it's predicted to open in the green again on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat on optimism for the global trade outlook - plus a bump in crude oil prices. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were up and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The SCI finished modestly higher on Monday following gains from the oil companies, weakness from the financials and a mixed picture from the properties.

For the day, the index advanced 18.22 points or 0.72 percent to finish at 2,533.09 after trading between 2,515.51 and 2,536.98.

Among the actives, PetroChina and Gemdale both added 0.41 percent, while Poly Developments sank 0.57 percent, China Vanke gained 0.48 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) jumped 1.57 percent, China Shenhua Energy eased 0.11 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China shed 0.57 percent, Bank of China dipped 0.28 percent, China Construction Bank fell 0.31 percent, China Life Insurance skidded 1.27 percent, Ping An Insurance lost 0.51 percent and CITIC Securities was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks extended Friday's gains, allowing the major averages to offset last month's selloff.

The Dow added 98.19 points or 0.42 percent to 23,531.35, while the NASDAQ gained 84.61 points or 1.26 percent to 6,823.47 and the S&P rose 17.75 points or 0.70 percent to 2,549.69.

The continued strength on Wall Street reflected optimism about high-level trade talks between the U.S. and China in Beijing; the two-day meeting was described as positive and constructive.

Meanwhile, traders largely shrugged off an Institute for Supply Management report showing growth in U.S. service sector activity slowed more than expected in December.

Crude oil futures were up Monday, extending gains to a sixth straight session on reports Saudi Arabia will reduce crude exports by the end of this month. Crude oil futures for February were up $0.56 or 1.2 percent at $48.52 a barrel.

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