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Higher Open Called For Hong Kong Stock Market

Ahead of Thursday's Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, the Hong Kong stock market had finished higher in three straight sessions - advancing more than 950 points or 3.5 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just beneath the 28,380-point plateau and it may extend its gains on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat thanks to solid economic data and a rebound in the price of crude oil. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian markets are expected to follow that lead.

The Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Wednesday following gains from the financials and properties, while the oil companies and casinos were mixed.

For the day, the index climbed 205.97 points or 0.73 percent to finish at 28,379.18 after trading between 28,311.27 and 28,521.77.

Among the actives, Kunlun Energy plummeted 2.32 percent, while China Resources Land surged 2.05 percent, Sun Hung Kai Properties soared 2.03 percent, Cathay Pacific Airways spiked 2.01 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China climbed 1.76 percent, Lenovo Group skidded 1.38 percent, Ping An Insurance jumped 1.28 percent, Galaxy Entertainment advanced 1.16 percent, China Mengniu Dairy shed 0.70 percent, China Life added 0.63 percent, China Mobile fell 0.50 percent, Sands China lost 0.37 percent, CNOOC slid 0.20 percent,
China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) gained 0.17 percent and BOC Hong Kong was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks moved higher on Thursday as the major averages again hit fresh record closing highs.

The Dow rose 113.75 points or 0.50 percent to 22,775.39, while the NASDAQ advanced 50.73 points or 0.78 percent to 6,585.36 and the S&P added 14.33 points or 0.56 percent to 2,552.07.

Positive sentiment was generated after the House approved a $4.1 trillion budget resolution. The resolution includes major spending cuts but is largely seen as a vehicle for Republicans to enact their proposed tax cuts.

Trading activity was subdued ahead of the closely watched monthly jobs report due later today. Employment is expected to rise by 90,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate is expected to hold at 4.4 percent.

In economic news, the Labor Department said first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected in the week ended September 30. Also, the Commerce Department said the trade deficit narrowed by more than expected in August, and also that factory orders jumped 1.2 percent.

Crude oil rebounded on Thursday after weakness earlier in the week. November WTI crude oil was up 81 cents of 1.6 percent to $50.79/bbl.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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