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Continued Support Tipped For China Stock Market

The China stock market moved higher again on Wednesday, one session after it had ended the two-day winning streak in which it had advanced almost 70 points or 2.8 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just beneath the 2,545-point plateau and it's looking at another green light again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is firm on continued trade optimism and surging crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were higher and the Asian bourses are tipped to open in slimier fashion.

The SCI finished modestly higher on Wednesday following gains from the financial shares, properties and oil and insurance companies.

For the day, the index gained 17.88 points or 0.71 percent to finish at 2,544.34 after trading between 2,536.16 and 2,574.41.

Among the actives, China Merchants Bank spiked 1.90 percent, while Industrial and Commercial Bank of China climbed 1.15 percent, Bank of China collected 0.28 percent, China Construction Bank advanced 1.10 percent, China Life Insurance jumped 1.70 percent, Ping An Insurance perked 2.06 percent,
China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) accelerated 2.10 percent, China Shenhua Energy added 0.27 percent, Gemdale surged 2.65 percent, Poly Developments rose 1.25 percent, China Vanke gained 1.32 percent and PetroChina and CITIC Securities were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is upbeat as stocks fluctuated on Wednesday but still finished higher, extending gains for a fourth consecutive session.

The Dow added 91.67 points or 0.39 percent to 23,879.12, while the NASDAQ gained 60.08 points or 0.87 percent to 6,957.08 and the S&P was up 10.55 points or 0.41 percent to 2,584.96.

The markets continued to benefit from optimism about a potential trade deal between the U.S. and China after talks between U.S. and Chinese officials were extended to a third day. Traders remain hopeful the U.S. and China will reach a long-term agreement before a March 1 deadline.

Stocks remained positive after the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting confirmed Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's recent remarks suggesting the central bank will take a patient approach to further interest rate increases.

Crude oil prices rose sharply Wednesday, extending gains to an eighth straight session amid easing concerns about energy demand. Crude oil futures for February ended up $2.58 or 5.2 percent at $52.36 a barrel.

Closer to home, China will on Thursday release December numbers for consumer and producer prices. Consumer prices are expected to rise 2.1 percent on year, slowing from 2.2 percent in November. Producer prices are called higher by an annual 1.6 percent - down sharply from 2.7 percent in the previous month.

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