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China Bourse Tipped To Open In The Green

The China stock market has finished higher in four straight sessions, gathering almost 95 points or 2.9 percent along the way. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just beneath the 3,370-point plateau and it figures to see additional support again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is firm thanks to economic optimism and a surge in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were higher and the Asian markets figure to follow suit.

The SCI finished modestly higher on Wednesday as gains from the financials and oil companies were capped by weakness from the insurance stocks and properties.

For the day, the index gained 20.78 points or 0.62 percent to finish at 3,369.11 after trading between 3,345.29 and 3,379.92. The Shenzhen Composite Index gathered 14.80 points or 0.77 percent to end at 1,934.00.

Among the actives, Bank of China added 0.50 percent, while Agricultural Bank of China collected 0.78 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China shed 0.32 percent, Bank of Communications gained 0.32 percent, China Life lost 0.69 percent, Ping An Insurance tumbled 2.23 percent, PetroChina picked up 0.24 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) climbed 1.57 percent, Vanke fell 0.71 percent and Jiangxi Copper skidded 1.27 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks moved mostly higher on Wednesday, adding to gains from the previous session as the major averages hit fresh record closing highs.

The Dow rose 98.67 points or 0.40 percent to 24,922.68, while the NASDAQ advanced 58.63 points or 0.84 percent to 7,065.53 and the S&P climbed 17.25 points or 0.64 percent to 2,713.06.

The continued strength on Wall Street came as upbeat data added to recent optimism about the economic outlook.

The Institute for Supply Management said growth in manufacturing activity unexpectedly accelerated in December, while the Commerce Department noted a bigger than expected increase in construction spending in November.

Stocks remained positive following the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting - which showed that most participants reiterated their support for continuing a gradual approach to raising interest rates.

Meanwhile, the Fed said it raised its economic projections due to the massive tax reform bill passed by Republicans and signed by President Donald Trump.

Crude oil futures continued to soar Wednesday thanks to the threat of supply disruptions from the Middle East and a weaker dollar. WTI light sweet crude oil was up $1.26 or 2.1 percent to $61.63/bbl, the highest since December 2014.

Closer to home, China will see December results for the services and composite PMIs from Caixin. The services PMI is expected to show a score of 51.8, down marginally from 51.9 in November. The composite PMI showed a score of 51.6 in the previous month.

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