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China Stock Market May Add To Its Winnings

The China stock market has finished higher in two of three trading days since the end of the two-day losing streak in which it had faded not even two points. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just beneath the 3,100-point plateau and it's likely to see additional support on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat on easing geopolitical concerns in the Middle East. The European and U.S. markets finished higher and the Asian bourses are tipped to open in similar fashion.

The SCI finished modestly higher on Thursday as gains from the financial shares and property stocks were capped by weakness from the oil companies.

For the day, the index advanced 27.98 points or 0.91 percent to finish at 3,094.88 after trading between 3,080.13 and 3,097.33. The Shenzhen Composite Index soared 31.06 points or 1.76 percent to end at 1,800.64.

Among the actives, China Construction Bank collected 0.28 percent, while China Merchants Bank climbed 1.28 percent, China Life Insurance jumped 1.41 percent, Ping An Insurance rose 0.05 percent, PetroChina tumbled 2.73 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) skidded 1.70 percent, China Shenhua Energy added 0.27 percent, Gemdale advanced 0.96 percent, Poly Developments surged 4.90 percent, China Vanke gained 1.64 percent and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Bank of China were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks saw continued upside on Thursday, propelling the major averages to fresh record closing highs.

The Dow added 212.08 points or 0.74 percent to 28,957.17, while the NASDAQ gained 74.18 points or 0.81 percent to 9,203.43 and the S&P 500 rose 21.65 points or 0.67 percent to 3,274.70.

Easing concerns about the conflict between the U.S. and Iran contributed to the continued strength on Wall Street amid signs of de-escalation.

Nonetheless, overall trading activity was subdued ahead of the release of the Labor Department's monthly jobs report later today.

Crude oil futures settled near four-week lows on Thursday as higher U.S. crude inventories and easing worries about U.S.-Iran standoff pushed prices down for a second straight session. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February ended down $0.05 or 0.03 percent at $59.56 a barrel, off the session's low of $58.66 a barrel.

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