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Hong Kong Stock Market May Halt Slide

The Hong Kong stock market has finished lower in two straight sessions, skidding more than 430 points or 1.4 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 31,110-point plateau although it may find traction on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside, thanks to a bump in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses figure to follow suit.

The Hang Seng finished slightly lower on Wednesday following losses from the casinos and mixed performances from the oil companies and properties.

For the day, the index dipped 41.83 points or 0.13 percent to finish at 31,110.20 on turnover of 100 billion Hong Kong dollars.

Among the actives, Wharf Real Estate plummeted 3.40 percent, while WH Group soared 2.44 percent, Sands China skidded 1.81 percent, Galaxy Entertainment tumbled 1.61 percent, CNOOC spiked 1.42 percent, Henderson Land dropped 0.87 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas shed 0.70 percent, AIA Group, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) and Sun Hung Kai Properties all lost 0.62 percent, Lenovo Group fell 0.26 percent, China Life added 0.22 percent, New World Development gained 0.17 percent and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.15 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks fluctuated on Wednesday but finished mostly higher - offsetting somewhat the sharp pullback in the previous session.

The Dow rose 62.52 points or 0.25 percent to 24,768.93, the NASDAQ advanced 46.67 points or 0.63 percent to 7,398.30 and the S&P 500 climbed 11.01 points or 0.41 percent to 2,722.46.

Buying interest was subdued, with geopolitical uncertainty keeping some traders on the sidelines after North Korea threatened to cancel an historic meeting between leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.

In economic news, the Commerce Department reported a sharp pullback in new residential construction in April, while building permits also tumbled. Also, the Federal Reserve said industrial production increased more than expected in April.

Crude oil futures nudged higher Wednesday amid a large decrease in U.S. oil stockpiles. June WTI oil inch up by 18 cents, or nearly 0.3 percent, to settle at $71.49/bbl.

Closer to home, Hong Kong will provide unemployment data for April later today; in March, the jobless rate was 2.9 percent.

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