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Hong Kong Stock Market May Extend Winning Streak

The Hong Kong stock market has finished higher in three straight sessions, advancing more than 340 points or 1.3 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 28,470-point plateau and it may add to its winnings again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat on continued optimism over the outlook for interest rates. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were firmly higher and the Asian markets are expected to follow the latter lead.

The Hang Seng finished slightly higher on Friday following gains from the financials, properties and oil and insurance companies.

For the day, the index added 39.82 points or 0.14 percent to finish at 28,471.62 after trading between 28,399.66 and 28,603.87.

Among the actives, CSPC Pharmaceutical plummeted 2.48 percent, while CITIC plunged 1.82 percent, China Life Insurance surged 1.81 percent, China Mengniu Dairy tumbled 1.42 percent, Sands China soared 1.38 percent, Sino Land spiked 1.36 percent, AIA Group jumped 1.30 percent, Techtronic Industries skidded 1.10 percent, WH Group dropped 0.77 percent, Henderson Land climbed 0.69 percent, Tencent Holdings retreated 0.62 percent, China Resources Land advanced 0.43 percent, China Mobile declined 0.43 percent, Galaxy Entertainment added 0.36 percent, BOC Hong Kong gained 0.32 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) and Wharf Real Estate both rose 0.19 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.18 percent, New World Development and Ping An Insurance both perked 0.16 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas was up 0.11 percent and CNOOC was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks opened higher Friday and remained in the green as the major averages extended recent gains and set fresh record closing highs.

The Dow added 243.95 points or 0.90 percent to 27,332.03, while the NASDAQ gained 48.10 points or 0.59 percent to 8,244.14 and the S&P 500 rose 13.86 points or 0.46 percent to 3,013.77. For the week, the Dow surged 1.5 percent, the NASDAQ climbed 1 percent and the S&P rose 0.8 percent.

The markets continued to benefit from renewed optimism about the Federal Reserve lowering interest rates as soon as its next meeting later this month following comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.

Trading activity was somewhat subdued, however, as traders brace for the unofficial start of earnings season this week.

Crude oil futures ended flat on Friday as traders weighed near term prospects for energy demand and supply. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended at $60.21 a barrel, up just a penny over previous close. or the week, oil futures gained about 4.7 percent.

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