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Hong Kong Stock Market May Find Traction On Tuesday

Ahead of the long Easter weekend, the Hong Kong stock market had moved lower in consecutive trading days, sliding almost 170 points or 0.6 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 29,960-point plateau although it may stop the bleeding on Tuesday as it catches up on missed sentiment.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests slight upside, thanks mainly to a surge in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and little changed and the Asian markets are expected to open in similar fashion.

The Hang Seng finished modestly lower on Thursday following losses from the financials, properties, casinos and oil companies.

For the day, the index sank 161.44 points or 0.54 percent to finish at 29,963.26 after trading between 29,896.86 and 30,101.83.

Among the actives, CSPC Pharmaceutical plummeted 1.92 percent, while China Resources Land plunged 1.17 percent, New World Development tumbled 1.04 percent, Tencent Holdings and CITIC both skidded 1.01 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China retreated 0.99 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) and Sands China both declined 0.81 percent, CNOOC dropped 0.67 percent, Galaxy Entertainment sank 0.59 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas shed 0.54 percent, WH Group lost 0.43 percent, China Mobile fell 0.39 percent, AIA Group slid 0.25 percent, China Life Insurance was down 0.23 percent, China Mengniu Dairy added 0.18 percent and CK Infrastructure and BOC Hong Kong were unchanged.

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

The Dow shed 48.49 points or 0.18 percent to finish at 26,511.05, while the NASDAQ added 17.21 points or 0.22 percent to 8,015.27 and the S&P 500 rose 2.94 points or 0.10 percent to 2,907.97.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves ahead of earnings news in the coming days from the likes of Coca-Cola (KO), Procter & Gamble (PG), Boeing (BA), Facebook (FB), Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon (AMZN), Intel (INTC), and Exxon Mobil (XOM).

The Easter Monday holiday, which has kept many overseas markets closed on the day, also contributed to light trading activity.

In economic news, the National Association of Realtors reported a significant pullback in existing home sales in March after sales had reached their highest level in almost a year in February.

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Monday after the U.S. ended the waivers it had offered to major importers of Iranian oil. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures soared to $65.91 a barrel at one stage, gaining more than 3 percent, before settling at $65.70 on expiration day, up $1.70 or 2.66 percent.

Closer to home, Hong Kong will see March inflation data later today; in February, consumer prices were up 2.1 percent on year.

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