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Hong Kong Bourse May Add To Its Winnings

The Hong Kong stock market has finished higher in two straight sessions, advancing more than 210 points or 0.9 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just beneath the 25,500-point plateau and it may extend its winning streak on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is cautiously optimistic as Thursday's selloff on recession fears may have been overdone. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mostly higher - and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Thursday as gains from the financials and properties were capped by weakness from the oil companies.

For the day, the index advanced 193.18 points or 0.76 percent to finish at 25,495.46 after trading between 24,899.93 and 25,552.13.

Among the actives, New World Development skyrocketed 7.81 percent, while China Mobile surged 5.42 percent, Wharf Real Estate soared 4.69 percent, Sun Hung Kai Properties spiked 4.06 percent, Techtronic Industries plunged 3.00 percent, Tencent Holdings tumbled 2.82 percent, WH Group dropped 2.52 percent, Galaxy Entertainment jumped 2.24 percent, AIA Group climbed 2.05 percent, BOC Hong Kong advanced 1.36 percent, CNOOC sank 1.22 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas added 0.86 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.81 percent, China Life Insurance gained 0.45 percent, Ping An Insurance rose 0.35 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) fell 0.22 percent and CSPC Pharmaceutical was up 0.17 percent.

The lead from Wall Street provides little clarity as stocks showed a lack of direction on Thursday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before eventually closing mixed.

The Dow added 99.97 points or 0.39 percent to 25,579.39, while the NASDAQ fell 7.32 points or 0.09 percent to 7,766.62 and the S&) 500 rose 7.00 points or 0.25 percent to 2,847.60.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders digested an avalanche of economic data, including mixed reports on retail sales and industrial output.

The Commerce Department reported U.S. retail sales climbed by much more than expected in July, but the Federal Reserve unexpectedly noted a modest drop in industrial production in July.

Also, the New York and Philadelphia Federal Reserves saw continued growth in manufacturing activity in August, while the Labor Department reported a bigger than expected increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits last week.

Crude oil prices saw further downside on Thursday, extending losses from the previous day on continued concerns about the outlook for global demand. China's threat to retaliate against U.S. tariffs weighed heavily on oil prices as West Texas Intermediate fell $0.48 or 0.87 percent to $54.47.

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