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Hong Kong Shares Inherit Positive Lead For Thursday

The Hong Kong stock market has finished higher in two straight sessions, surging almost 1,850 points or 8.3 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 23,525-point plateau and it's expected to see additional support on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive on continued optimism for stimulus in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The Hang Seng finished sharply higher on Wednesday with gains from the financials, casinos, properties and oil and insurance companies.

For the day, the index soared 863.70 points or 3.81 percent to finish at 23,527.19 after trading between 23,062.23 and 23,569.45.

Among the actives, WH Group skyrocketed 11.21 percent, while Techtronic Industries surged 9.55 percent, China Life Insurance soared 7.49 percent, CNOOC spiked 7.44 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) accelerated 6.73 percent, AIA Group jumped 6.57 percent, Sands China climbed 6.13 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical gathered 5.95 percent, China Resources Land perked 5.79 percent, AAC Technologies advanced 4.28 percent, Tencent Holdings added 4.05 percent, Galaxy Entertainment and Sun Hung Kai Properties both gained 3.91 percent, New World Development rose 3.73 percent, BOC Hong Kong increased 3.56 percent, Ping An Insurance picked up 3.06 percent, China Mengniu Dairy added 2.86 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 2.52 percent, CITIC gained 2.05 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas was up 1.94 percent and China Mobile lost 0.88 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks moved sharply higher on Wednesday before giving ground late in the session to end mixed.

The Dow jumped 495.64 points or 2.39 percent to finish at 21,200.55, while the NASDAQ fell 33.56 points or 0.45 percent to 7,384.29 and the S&P 500 climbed 28.23 points or 1.15 percent to 2,475.56.

Stocks moved sharply higher earlier in the session in reaction to news that Senate leaders and the White House have reached an agreement on the $2 trillion stimulus bill - but a potential snag over jobless benefits could delay its passage, sending stocks lower in the afternoon.

The Senate could pass the bill as soon as today, although the stimulus package would still need to be approved by the Democrat-controlled House before heading to President Donald Trump's desk.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Wednesday after a decline in weekly gasoline inventories. Optimism about the passage of the massive $2 trillion stimulus bill also contributed to oil's rise in the session. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for May ended up $0.48 or 2 percent at $24.49 a barrel.

Closer to home, Hong Kong will release February figures for imports, exports and trade balance later today. In January, imports were worth HKD299.99 billion and exports were at HKD269.40 billion for a trade surplus of HKD30.60 billion.

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