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China Stock Market May Extend Its Gains

The China stock market has climbed higher in back-to-back trading days, gathering more than 70 points or 2.3 percent along the way. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just above the 2,955-point plateau and it may add to its winnings on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat on solid earnings news and rising crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian markets are tipped to follow that lead.

The SCI finished modestly higher on Thursday as gains from the properties and energy producers were offset by mixed performances from the financials and insurance stocks.

For the day, the index gathered 17.03 points or 0.58 percent to finish at 2,955.71 after trading between 2,929.06 and 2,956.17, The Shenzhen Composite Index added 6.89 points or 0.44 percent to end at 1,584.81.

Among the actives, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.36 percent, while Bank of China added 0.80 percent, China Construction Bank dipped 0.28 percent, China Merchants Bank rose 0.12 percent, China Life Insurance fell 0.34 percent, Ping An Insurance gained 0.53 percent, PetroChina perked 0.14 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) advanced 0.74 percent, China Shenhua Energy gathered 0.91 percent, CITIC Securities sank 0.34 percent, Gemdale jumped 1.43 percent, Poly Developments perked 0.23 percent and China Vanke was up 0.39 percent.

The lead from Wall Street remains positive as stocks moved mostly higher on Thursday, extending recent gains and offsetting Monday's steep drop.

The Dow added 214.66 points or 0.84 percent to 25,862.68, while the NASDAQ gained 75.90 points or 0.97 percent to 7,898.05 and the S&P 500 rose 25.36 points or 0.89 percent to 2,876.32.

The strength on Wall Street reflected solid earnings news from companies like Walmart (WMT) and networking giant Cisco Systems (CSCO), who both beat the street.

In economic news, the Labor Department said initial jobless claims dropped more than expected last week, while the Commerce Department noted a substantial increase in new residential construction in April.

Crude oil prices climbed to a two-week high on Thursday, extending recent gains amid concerns about supply disruptions due to an escalation in tensions in the Middle East. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended up $0.85 or 1.4 percent at $62.87 a barrel.

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