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China Bourse May Crack 3,200-Point Barrier

The China stock market has climbed higher in back-to-back trading days, advancing more than 55 points or 1.8 percent along the way. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just beneath the 3,185-point plateau and it's looking at another positive lead for Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat, with continued bargain hunting after recent weakness likely to provide mild support. The European markets were down and the U.S. markets were up and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The SCI finished sharply higher on Tuesday following gains from the financials, properties and oil and insurance companies.

For the day, the index jumped 30.83 points or 0.98 percent to finish at 3,184.96 after trading between 3,176.11 and 3,219.22. The Shenzhen Composite Index added 7.10 points or 0.41 percent to end at 1,730.83.

Among the actives, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China soared 2.87 percent, while Agricultural Bank of China jumped 1.47 percent, Bank of Communications collected 0.46 percent, China Construction Bank climbed 1.57 percent, PetroChina added 0.25 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) gained 0.63 percent, China Life advanced 0.34 percent, Ping An Insurance spiked 3.17 percent, China Vanke perked 2.60 percent, Gemdale was up 0.16 percent and Jiangxi Copper surged 2.03 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks shrugged off a lower open to tick slightly higher on Tuesday, extending the upward move in the two previous sessions.

The Dow added 39.18 points or 0.16 percent to 24,640.45, while the NASDAQ advanced 31.55 points or 0.45 percent to 7,013.51 and the S&P rose 6.94 points or 0.26 percent to 2,662.94.

The rebound came as traders looked ahead to reports on consumer prices and retail sales on Wednesday. The data may have a significant impact on how the Federal Reserve will act regarding future interest rate hikes.

Crude oil futures were steady Tuesday, but unable to recoup recent losses. Analysts point to a surge in U.S. shale oil production as the cause of oil's retreat from 4-year highs above $66. WTI light sweet oil for March was down 0.2 percent at $59.19/bbl.

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