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Hong Kong Stock Market May Add To Its Winnings

The Hong Kong stock market has moved higher in two straight sessions, gathering more than 770 points or 3 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 25,835-point plateau and it's looking at another firm lead 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 Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Monday following gains from the financials, oil companies and insurance stocks.

For the day, the index collected 209.67 points or 0.82 percent to finish at 25,835.70 after trading between 25,753.46 and 26,043.64.

Among the actives, WH Group surged 3.25 percent, while CNOOC soared 2.48 percent, China Resources Power Holdings spiked 2.38 percent, Tencent Holdings jumped 2.25 percent, China Mengniu Dairy tumbled 2.13 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical climbed 1.81 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) advanced 1.77 percent, China Life gathered 1.59 percent, New World Development and China Mobile both perked 1.50 percent, Galaxy Entertainment skidded 0.93 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas added 0.61 percent, Sands China gained 0.60 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.36 percent, Ping An Insurance was up 0.30 percent and AIA Group dipped 0.24 percent.

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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