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Hong Kong Stock Market May Extend Its Gains

The Hong Kong stock market on Thursday halted the two-day slide in which it had fallen more than 375 points or 1.3 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 28,480-point plateau and it's expected to open in the green again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat thanks to easing concerns over a global trade war. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian markets are expected to open in similar fashion.

The Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Thursday as gains from financials, casinos and insurance companies were capped by weakness from the oil companies and a mixed picture from the properties.

For the day, the index collected 169.14 points or 0.60 percent to finish at 28,480.83.

Among the actives, China Mengniu Dairy surged 2.83 percent, while CSPC Pharmaceutical soared 1.79 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 1.44 percent, Galaxy Entertainment spiked 1.30 percent, China Mobile skidded 1.06 percent, China Life jumped 0.92 percent, Ping An Insurance climbed 0.78 percent, WH Group shed 0.65 percent, Sun Hung Kai Properties lost 0.51 percent, Sands China advanced 0.49 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) fell 0.28 percent, New World Development and Wharf Real Estate both added 0.18 percent, CNOOC eased 0.15 percent and Hong Kong & China Gas gained 0.13 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks showed a strong move back to the upside Thursday, more than offsetting the losses in the previous session.

The Dow jumped 224.44 points or 0.91 percent to finish at 24,924.89, while the NASDAQ surged 107.30 points or 1.39 percent to a record closing high of 7,823.92 and the S&P 500 surged 24.27 points or 0.87 percent to 2,798.29.

The rebound was due to optimism about the upcoming earnings season, with several leading financial companies report results on Friday.

Easing trade concerns between the United States and China also contributed to the rally as traders seem optimistic the continued tariff threats will eventually bring the U.S. and China to the table for talks that result in a long-term trade agreement.

In economic news, the Labor Department said consumer prices edged higher in June, as did core CPI. Also, the Labor Department said first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected in the week ended July 7.

Crude oil futures failed to rally Thursday after the International Energy Agency's warning that the world's oil supply cushion "might be stretched to the limit" due to production losses. Crude was down 5 cents to $70.33 a barrel.

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