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Hong Kong Bourse May Add To Its Winnings

The Hong Kong stock market on Friday wrote a finish to the two-day losing streak in which it had stumbled almost 320 points or 1.1 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just beneath the 29,910-point plateau and it's expected to move higher again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat after earnings season kicked off with better than expected numbers. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses figure to follow suit.

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

For the day, the index jumped 70.31 points or 0.24 percent to finish at the daily high of 29,909.76 after moving as low as 29,694.85.

Among the actives, WH Group surged 3.84 percent, while Ping An Insurance soared 0.98 percent, CNOOC spiked 0.96 percent, New World Development jumped 0.90 percent, AIA Group tumbled 0.87 percent, Hang Lung Properties climbed 0.74 percent, BOC Hong Kong gathered 0.71 percent, China Mengniu Dairy perked 0.70 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.69 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas advanced 0.64 percent, Tencent Holdings added 0.61 percent, Sands China gained 0.59 percent, China Mobile sank 0.39 percent, Galaxy Entertainment rose 0.26 percent, China Life was up 0.24 percent, CITIC fell 0.17 percent and China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec), Henderson Land and CSPC Pharmaceutical were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks opened higher on Friday and remained in the green throughout the session.

The Dow jumped 269.25 points or 1.03 percent to 26,412.30, while the NASDAQ added 36.80 points or 0.46 percent to 7,984.16 and the S&P 500 rose 19.09 points or 0.66 percent to 2,907.41. For the week, the Dow fell 0.1 percent, while the NASDAQ added 0.6 percent and the S&P 500 rose 0.5 percent.

The early strength on Wall Street followed quarterly results from JPMorgan Chase (JPM), which posted record Q1 earnings and revenues that beat the street - although some apprehension remains ahead of more earnings news this week.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted a bigger than expected increase in import prices in March, while the University of Michigan said that consumer sentiment deteriorated more than expected in April.

Crude oil futures ended higher on Friday with escalating unrest in Libya, the U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela and OPEC-led output cuts tightening crude supply in the global market. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended up $0.31 or 0.5 percent at $63.89 a barrel.

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