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Higher Open Predicted For Hong Kong Shares

The Hong Kong stock market on Monday snapped the two-day slide in which it had tumbled more than 800 points or 2.6 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 28,500-point plateau and it's likely to see additional support again on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is firm thanks to solid economic data, rising oil prices and expected bargain hunting. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow that lead.

The Hang Seng finished sharply higher on Monday following gains from the financials and Insurance companies, while the casinos were soft and the oil companies were mixed.

For the day, the index advanced 274.88 points or 0.97 percent to finish at 28,503.30 after trading between 28,240.77 and 28,512.27.

Among the actives, AIA Group surged 2.40 percent, while WH Group and Tencent Holdings both soared 2.25 percent, China Mobile spiked 2.09 percent, China Life Insurance jumped 1.70 percent, CPC Pharmaceutical accelerated 1.21 percent, China Resources Power Holdings climbed 1.09 percent, AAC Technologies skidded 0.74 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas advanced 0.67 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.51 percent, Sands China dropped 0.40 percent, CITIC added 0.34 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) gained 0.31 percent, CNOOC shed 0.30 percent, Galaxy Entertainment lost 0.29 percent, New World Development fell 0.16 percent, BOC Hong Kong rose 0.16 percent, Ping An Insurance was up 0.12 percent and Henderson Land was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is broadly positive thanks to bargain hunting after a rough couple of sessions. The major averages opened in the green on Monday and stayed there throughout the session.

The Dow added 200.64 points or 0.79 percent to 25,650.88, while the NASDAQ spiked 149.92 points or 2.02 percent to 7,558.06 and the S&P 500 jumped 40.23 points or 1.47 percent to 2,783.30.

The rally on Wall Street came following a report from the Commerce Department showing an unexpected uptick in U.S. retail sales in January. The Commerce Department also noted business inventories increased as expected in December.

But the upside for the Dow was limited by a big drop in shares of Boeing, with the aerospace giant slumping 5.3 percent. Boeing came under pressure following the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which was the second crash in five months involving the company's 737 Max 8 model.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Monday, lifted by reports that Saudi Arabia will extend output cuts. West Texas Intermediate Crude futures for April ended up $0.72 or 1.3 percent at $56.79 a barrel.

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