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Hong Kong Stock Market Inherits Positive Lead

The Hong Kong stock market has climbed higher in two straight sessions, advancing more than 640 points or 2.8 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 25,100-point plateau and it may see additional support on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat and rising oil prices and optimism for stimulus. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses figure to follow suit.

The Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Wednesday as gains from the properties, telecoms and oil companies were capped by weakness from the financials, casinos and insurance stocks.

For the day, the index gathered 155.91 points or 0.62 percent to finish at 25,102.54 after trading between 24,868.29 and 25,167.22.

Among the actives, China Mobile surged 2.40 percent, while China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) soared 2.39 percent, Tencent Holdings spiked 2.00 percent, Wharf Real Estate plummeted 1.70 percent, CNOOC accelerated 1.55 percent, AAC Technologies jumped 1.53 percent, China Mengniu Dairy climbed 1.52 percent, China Life Insurance tumbled 1.28 percent, Sands China skidded 1.16 percent, WH Group gathered 0.99 percent, Sino Land perked 0.74 percent, Techtronic Industries retreated 0.69 percent, Galaxy Entertainment declined 0.56 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas surrendered 0.54 percent, New World Development advanced 0.51 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical added 0.50 percent, BOC Hong Kong sank 0.45 percent, AIA Group dropped 0.35 percent, CITIC gained 0.27 percent, Ping An Insurance shed 0.24 percent, Power Assets lost 0.23 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China fell 0.22 percent, China Resources Land dipped 0.15 percent and Hap Seng Bank and Henderson Land were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks moved mostly higher on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous session as the NASDAQ hit a fresh record closing high.

The Dow jumped 373.05 points or 1.39 percent to finish at 27,201.52, while the NASDAQ added 57.23 points or 0.52 percent to end at 10,998.40 and the S&P 500 rose 21.26 points or 0.64 percent to close at 3,327.77.

The continued strength in the broader markets reflected optimism that lawmakers will eventually reach an agreement on a new coronavirus relief bill after both sides noted progress in talks.

Adding to the positive sentiment, the Institute for Supply Management noted an unexpected acceleration in the pace of growth in service sector activity in July. But traders shrugged off a report from payroll processor ADP showing a slowdown in private sector job growth last month.

Crude oil prices moved higher Wednesday, lifted by data showing a sharp drop in U.S. crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended up $0.49 or 1.2 percent at $42.19 a barrel.

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