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Hong Kong Stock Market Expected To Remain Rangebound

The Hong Kong stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last seven trading days since the end of the two-day losing streak in which it had stumbled nearly 200 points or 0.8 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just beneath the 27,090-point plateau although it's likely to open higher again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat on optimism regarding trade and interest rates, The European and U.S. markets were slightly higher and the Asian bourses are predicted to open in similar fashion.

The Hang Seng finished modestly lower on Thursday as losses from the properties and oil companies were mitigated by support from the financials and insurance stocks.

For the day, the index fell 71.43 points or 0.26 percent to finish at 27,087.63 after trading between 26,967.25 and 27,283.98.

Among the actives, Techtronic Industries surged 3.99 percent, while WH Group soared 3.88 percent, AAC Technologies spiked 2.65 percent, China Mengniu Dairy accelerated 2.17 percent, Wharf Real Estate plummeted 1.74 percent, China Life Insurance jumped 1.55 percent, Henderson Land plunged 1.55 percent, Ping An Insurance climbed 1.45 percent, AIA Group tumbled 1.43 percent, CITIC advanced 1.19 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical added 1.18 percent, Tencent Holdings gained 0.98 percent, Galaxy Entertainment skidded 0.74 percent, CNOOC sank 0.42 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) dropped 0.41 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas rose 0.39 percent, BOC Hong Kong collected 0.35 percent, New World Development shed 0.19 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China was up 0.19 percent and Sands China and Hang Lung Properties were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street suggests mild upside as stocks fluctuated on Thursday but maintained a positive bias. The major averages once again ended the session at their best closing levels in over a month.

The Dow added 45.41 points or 0.17 percent to 27,182.45, while the NASDAQ gained 24.79 points or 0.30 percent to 8,194.47 and the S&P 500 rose 8.64 points or 0.29 percent to 3,0009.57.

Stocks fluctuated throughout much of the session as traders reacted to conflicting reports regarding an interim U.S.-China trade deal. Stocks showed a notable move to the upside on reports that Trump administration officials have discussed offering an interim trade agreement to China.

However, stocks ebbed after a senior White House official told CNBC the U.S. is "absolutely not" considering an interim trade deal. But the markets maintained a positive bias when Trump said he is temporarily delaying raising tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Positive sentiment was also generated in reaction to the European Central Bank's monetary policy decision, with the ECB cutting rates and announcing a massive new bond-buying program.

Crude oil futures ended lower on Thursday, extending losses to a third straight session following a downward revision in OPEC's oil demand forecast and speculation that the U.S. may ease sanctions on Iran. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended down $0.66 or 1.2 percent at $55.09 a barrel.

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