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Hong Kong Bourse May Spin Its Wheels On Tuesday

The Hong Kong stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last four trading days since the end of the four-day winning streak in which it had advanced more than 410 points or 1.4 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 28,140-point plateau although it may be stuck in neutral on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat amid uncertainty about the outlook for global trade, while weakness in crude oil prices is likely to cap any upside. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were mixed and flat and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Monday following gains from the casinos and properties and mixed performances from the oil and insurance companies.

For the day, the index climbed 197.52 points or 0.71 percent to finish at the daily high of 28,143.84 after moving as low as 27,847.85.

Among the actives, AAC Technologies surged 5.06 percent, while WH Group soared 2.50 percent, China Mengniu Dairy spiked 1.90 percent, Wharf Real Estate accelerated 1.86 percent, Tencent Holdings jumped 1.85 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical climbed 1.69 percent, Galaxy Entertainment advanced 1.48 percent, Ping An Insurance collected 1.24 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas perked 0.92 percent, Sands China gathered 0.78 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) shed 0.61 percent, AIA Group added 0.47 percent, BOC Hong Kong gained 0.34 percent, China Life Insurance lost 0.31 percent, New World Development and CNOOC both rose 0.16 percent, China Mobile dipped 0.12 percent and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street provides little guidance as stocks showed a lack of direction on Monday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before ending mixed.

The Dow shed 53.22 points or 0.21 percent to finish at 25,053.11, while the NASDAQ added 9.71 points or 0.13 percent to 7,307.90 and the S&P rose 1.92 points or 0.07 percent to 2,709.80.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came amid uncertainty ahead of the next round of trade talks between the U.S. and China due to take place later this week as the world's two largest economies try to make a deal before an early March deadline.

A jump in tariffs on Chinese goods is currently set to take effect at that time, although they could be delayed if talks between U.S. and Chinese officials continue to make progress toward a trade deal.

Crude oil prices recovered from early weakness on Monday but still settled lower as weak global growth outlook raised concerns about energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended down $0.31 or 0.6 percent at $52.41 a barrel, well off the day's low of $51.23.

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