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Markets trade higher in Asia

  • Story Highlights
  • Seoul's KOSPI and Hong Kong's Hang Seng both up more than 2 percent
  • Dow, S&P and NASDAQ slipped on Friday
  • RDM Financial Group strategist says eyes are on S&P 500
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(CNN) -- Asian and Pacific markets traded universally higher Monday, as world markets looked to extend recent gains.

Tokyo's Nikkei average was up 2 percent at the midday break and Australia's All Ordinaries index pick up 1.5 percent in afternoon trading.

In Seoul, the KOSPI was also up 2.3 percent, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 2.4 percent.

Even though Wall Street finished Friday on a down note, U.S. markets have posted two straight winning weeks.

The Dow Industrials lost 122 points to close at 7,278, losing 1.7 percent. The Standard and Poor's 500 slipped about 2 percent, to closed at 769, while the NASDAQ sloughed off 1.8 percent, to finish the week at 1,457.

The next week -- the last full week in the quarter -- promises to be a critical one for investors looking for reasons to either resurrect the stalled rally or retreat even further.

"As we approach the end of the quarter, the big question is if we can push the S&P 500 above the 800 level," said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at RDM Financial Group.

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