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Hong Kong Bourse May Challenge 29,000-Point Mark

The Hong Kong stock market has moved higher in three straight sessions, gathering more than 860 points or 3.1 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just beneath the 28,950-point plateau and it's expected to open higher again on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat on optimism ahead of the trade deal between the United States and China that is expected to be signed later this week. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were up and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

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

For the day, the index soared 316.74 points or 1.11 percent to finish at 28,954.94 after trading between 28,671.84 and 28,971.40.

Among the actives, Hengan International surged 3.78 percent, while Ping An Insurance soared 2.63 percent, Tencent Holdings spiked 1.96 percent, China Mobile accelerated 1.87 percent, New World Development jumped 1.67 percent, AAC Technologies climbed 1.58 percent, CNOOC gathered 1.48 percent, Techtronic Industries perked 1.42 percent, CITIC advanced 1.30 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas added 1.18 percent, China Life Insurance gained 1.11 percent, Sands China skidded 0.92 percent, BOC Hong Kong rose 0.90 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.67 percent, Galaxy Entertainment sank 0.57 percent, WH Group shed 0.34 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) fell 0.21 percent and CSPC Pharmaceutical was up 0.11 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks moved mostly higher on Monday, rebounding from the pullback in the previous session. With the upward move, the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 ended the session at new record closing highs.

The Dow added 83.28 points or 0.29 percent to finish at 28,907.05, while the NASDAQ jumped 95.07 points or 1.04 percent to 9,273.93 and the S&P 500 rose 22.78 points or 070 percent to 3,288.13.

The strength on Wall Street came amid continued optimism about impact of the phase one China-U.S. trade deal. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is scheduled to visit Washington to sign the deal, which is said to include reduced tariffs on Chinese goods in exchange for increased Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural products.

Stocks saw further upside after various media reports said the Treasury Department will drop its designation of China as a "currency manipulator" ahead of the signing of the deal.

Crude oil prices declined sharply on Monday amid easing worries about U.S.-Iran tensions as the futures contract settled at its lowest level in six weeks. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures ended down $0.96 or 1.6 percent at $58.08 a barrel, the lowest price since early December.

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