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Higher Open Expected For Hong Kong Stock Market

The Hong Kong stock market has climbed higher in consecutive trading days, advancing more than 430 points or 1.7 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just shy of the 26,500-point plateau and it's got another positive lead on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly positive on solid economic data and a spike in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were firmly higher on Friday and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow that lead.

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

For the day, the index spiked 281.37 points or 1.07 percent to finish at 26,498.37 after trading between 26,309.34 and 26,520.08.

Among the actives, AAC Technologies skyrocketed 8.97 percent, while WH Group surged 4.94 percent, Galaxy Entertainment soared 2.25 percent, Techtronic Industries spiked 1.92 percent, China Life Insurance accelerated 1.82 percent, Sands China jumped 1.77 percent, Tencent Holdings climbed 1.70 percent, New World Development advanced 1.59 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical gathered 1.13 percent, CITIC perked 1.12 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 1.09 percent, BOC Hong Kong added 0.96 percent, Ping An Insurance gained 0.56 percent, AIA Group rose 0.52 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas lost 0.27 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) fell 0.23 percent, China Mengniu Dairy increased 0.16 percent and CNOOC and China Mobile were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is firm as stocks moved sharply higher on Friday as the major averages extended recent gains.

The Dow jumped 337.26 points or 1.22 percent to 28,015.06, while the NASDAQ climbed 85.83 points or 1.00 percent to 8,656.53 and the S&P 500 rose 28.48 points or 0.91 percent to 3,145.91. For the week, the Dow and NASDAQ fell 0.1 percent and the S&P added 0.2 percent.

The rally on Wall Street came after the Labor Department's closely watched monthly jobs report showed much stronger than expected U.S. job growth in November - while the unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent.

Adding to the positive sentiment, preliminary data released by the University of Michigan showed a much bigger than expected improvement in U.S. consumer sentiment in December.

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Friday after Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed on further output curbs. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended up $0.77 or 1.3 percent at $59.20 a barrel, the highest settlement since September 17.

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