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Higher Open Predicted For Hong Kong Shares

The Hong Kong stock market has moved higher in three straight sessions, soaring more than 600 points or 2.5 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now sits just beneath the 24,400-point plateau and it's expected to add to its winnings on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly positive on optimism for economic recovery in the wake of the Covid-19 shutdown. The European and U.S. markets were sharply higher and the Asian markets are tipped to open in similar fashion.

The Hang Seng finished barely higher on Wednesday as gains from the financials and casinos were offset by weakness from the oil companies.

For the day, the index rose 11.82 points or 0.05 percent to finish at 24,399.95 after trading between 24,315.75 and 24,514.87.

Among the actives, AAC Technologies skyrocketed 6.82 percent, while CSPC Pharmaceutical surged 4.69 percent, Sino Land plummeted 2.51 percent, Tencent Holdings soared 2.33 percent, China Mobile plunged 1.84 percent, Galaxy Entertainment spiked 1.79 percent, CITIC tumbled 1.72 percent, CNOOC skidded 1.61 percent, China Mengniu Dairy accelerated 1.40 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) retreated 1.33 percent, New World Development declined 0.88 percent, Sands China jumped 0.81 percent, China Life Insurance dropped 0.78 percent, Techtronic Industries climbed 0.64 percent, WH Group sank 0.59 percent, China Resources Land shed 0.49 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas advanced 0.43 percent, BOC Hong Kong lost 0.41 percent, AIA Group added 0.28 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.20 percent and Ping An Insurance rose 0.19 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is upbeat as stocks showed a strong move to the upside on Wednesday, erasing the losses posted in the previous session.

The Dow climbed 369.04 points or 1.52 percent to finish at 24,575.90, while the NASDAQ surged 190.67 points or 2.08 percent to 9,375.78 and the S&P 500 jumped 48.67 points or 1.67 percent to end at 2,971.61.

The rally on Wall Street reflected optimism for an economic recovery as states reopen following the coronavirus-induced lockdowns. Early indications suggest the states that have reopened have not seen a spike in coronavirus cases, which has led to hopes the economy may rebound more quickly than expected.

Positive sentiment was also generated by earnings news from home improvement retailer Lowe's (LOW), which reported Q1 results that exceeded estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Also, the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting highlighted concerns about the uncertainty and risks to economic activity created by the coronavirus pandemic.

Crude oil prices climbed to a 10-week high on Wednesday after data showed a drop in crude stockpiles, and amid optimism about a pickup in energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July ended up $1.53, or 4.8 percent at $33.49 a barrel, the highest since March 10.

Closer to home, Hong Kong will see April figures for consumer prices later today, with forecasts suggesting an annual increase of 1.8 percent - slowing from 2.3 percent in March.

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