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Hong Kong Shares May See Additional Support

The Hong Kong stock market has moved higher in two straight sessions, advancing more than 200 points or 0.7 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 29,000-point plateau and it may add to its winnings again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat on an improved outlook for global trade. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian markets are tipped to open in similar fashion.

The Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Friday following gains from the financial shares, casinos and oil companies.

For the day, the index jumped 160.87 points or 0.56 percent to finish at 29,012.26 after trading between 28,828.26 and 29,204.73.

Among the actives, WH Group surged 4.56 percent, while CSPC Pharmaceutical soared 3.54 percent, Sands China spiked 3.10 percent, CNOOC jumped 2.91 percent, Galaxy Entertainment climbed 2.62 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) gathered 1.37 percent, Ping An Insurance perked 1.05 percent, New World Development advanced 0.79 percent, China Mengniu Dairy added 0.61 percent, Sino Land shed 0.56 percent, AAC Technologies gained 0.55 percent, China Mobile rose 0.53 percent, CITIC was up 0.34 percent, AIA Group lost 0.32 percent, BOC Hong Kong collected 0.31 percent, China Life added 0.24 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas fell 0.22 percent and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks moved gradually higher through the course of Friday's trade, with the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 hitting five-month closing highs.

The Dow added 138.98 points or 0.54 percent to 25,848.87, while the NASDAQ gained 57.62 points or 0.76 percent to 7,688.53 and the S&P 500 rose 14.00 points or 0.50 percent to 2,822.48. For the week, the Dow gained 1.6 percent, the NASDAQ advanced 3.8 percent and the S&P rose 2.9 percent.

The strength on Wall Street came amid optimism on U.S.-China trade talks and indications of Chinese economic stimulus after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged support for the fading economy.

In U.S. economic news, the Federal Reserve said industrial production rose less than expected in February. Also, the New York Fed noted an unexpected slowdown in regional manufacturing growth in March.

Crude oil futures ended slightly lower on Friday, snapping a four-session winning streak, as traders chose to take profits. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $0.09 or 0.2 percent at $58.52 a barrel.

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