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Renewed Support Predicted For China Bourse

The China stock market on Thursday snapped the two-day winning streak in which it had advanced almost 90 points or 2.9 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just above the 3,250-point plateau although it's looking at a rebound on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside on rising crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were slightly higher and the Asian bourses are expected to follow suit.

The SCI finished modestly lower on Thursday following losses from the financial shares, property stocks and oil companies.

For the day, the index dropped 12.92 points or 0.40 percent to finish at 3,250.20 after trading between 3,241.83 and 3,271.39. The Shenzhen Composite Index lost 10.41 points or 0.59 percent to end at 1,762.30.

Among the actives, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China skidded 1.16 percent, while Bank of China shed 0.74 percent, China Construction Bank tumbled 2.19 percent, China Merchants Bank dropped 0.92 percent, China Life Insurance advanced 0.84 percent, Ping An Insurance dipped 0.21 percent, PetroChina eased 0.13 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) fell 0.51 percent, China Shenhua Energy lost 0.39 percent, Gemdale retreated 1.52 percent, Poly Developments declined 1.34 percent, China Vanke sank 0.90 percent and CITIC Securities was down 0.33 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks continued to show a lack of direction on Thursday before ending slightly higher.

The Dow added 110.00 points or 0.42 percent to 26,559.54, while the NASDAQ gained 1.98 points or 0.02 percent to 7,998.06 and the S&P rose 4.58 points or 0.16 percent to 2,905.03. For the holiday-shortened week, the Dow advanced 0.6 percent, the NASDAQ rose 0.2 percent and the S&P fell 0.1 percent.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders were reluctant to make significant moves going into the long Easter weekend.

They were also looking ahead to next week's quarterly earnings news from companies like Coca-Cola (KO), Procter & Gamble (PG), Boeing (BA), Facebook (FB), Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon (AMZN), Intel (INTC), and Exxon Mobil (XOM).

In economic news, the Commerce Department said retail sales rebounded more than expected in March. Also, the Labor Department said initial jobless claims dipped last week to a nearly 50-year low.

Crude oil futures edged higher on Thursday, with traders weighing near term crude supply and demand prospects. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended up $0.24 or 0.4 percent at $64.00 a barrel.

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