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Mild Upside Predicted For China Stock Market

The China stock market on Wednesday snapped the two-day slide in which it had retreated just 7 points or 0.2 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just above the 3,240-point plateau and it may inch higher again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is cautiously optimistic on optimism over interest rates and a mild bump in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were slightly higher and the Asian markets are tipped to follow suit.

The SCI finished barely higher on Wednesday following a mixed performance from the insurance companies and weakness from the properties and financials.

For the day, the index gained 2.27 points or 0.07 percent to finish at 3,241.93 after trading between 3,204.88 and 3,264.78. The Shenzhen Composite Index dipped 3.73 points or 0.21 percent to end at 1,779.28.

Among the actives, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) skidded 1.01 percent, while Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and PetroChina both shed 0.52 percent, Bank of China slid 0.26 percent, China Construction Bank fell 0.27 percent, China Merchants Bank sank 0.45 percent, China Life Insurance dropped 0.99 percent, Ping An Insurance climbed 1.15 percent, China Shenhua Energy rose 0.10 percent, Gemdale plummeted 3.18 percent, China Vanke plunged 2.12 percent and Poly Developments and CITIC Securities both tumbled 1.81 percent.

The lead from Wall Street suggests mild upside as stocks moved slightly higher on Wednesday amid subdued buying interest.

The Dow added 6.58 points or 0.03 percent to finish at 26,157.16, while the NASDAQ gained 54.96 points or 0.69 percent to 7,964.24 and the S&P 500 rose 10.01 points or 0.35 percent to 2,888.21.

The higher close on Wall Street came after the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting suggested the outlook for interest rates remains fluid. However, future rate decisions would depend on ongoing assessments of the economic outlook and potential risks.

In economic news, the Labor Department said that a spike in energy prices contributed to a slightly bigger than expected increase in consumer prices in March.

Crude oil futures settled higher Wednesday as a sharp decline in U.S. gasoline stocks offset a surge in crude stockpiles last week. Crude oil futures for May ended up $0.63 or 0.98 percent at $64.61 a barrel.

Closer to home, China will release March figures for consumer and producer prices later today. Consumer prices are expected to rise 2.3 percent on year, up from 1.5 percent in February. Producer prices are tipped to add an annual 0.4 percent, up from 0.1 percent in the previous month.

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