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Hong Kong Stock Market Draws Solid Lead For Friday

The Hong Kong stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last four trading days since the end of the three-day winning streak in which it had advanced almost 680 points or 2.5 percent. The Hang Seng Index now sits just above the 29,000-point plateau and it's expected to open in the green again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive, with technology stocks expected to lead the way. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian markets are tipped to open in similar fashion.

The Hang Seng finished sharply higher on Thursday following gains from the financial shares and technology stocks, while the casinos, properties and oil companies were mixed.

For the day, the index spiked 333.27 points or 1.16 percent to finish at 29,008.07 after trading between 28,587.11 and 29,054.82.

Among the actives, AAC Technologies accelerated 2.54 percent, while AIA Group skyrocketed 6.16 percent, Alibaba Group improved 0.45 percent, Alibaba Health Info rallied 2.24 percent, ANTA Sports spiked 3.28 percent, China Life Insurance dipped 0.25 percent, China Mengniu Dairy soared 4.44 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) rose 0.49 percent, China Resources Land sank 0.67 percent, CITIC gathered 1.21 percent, CNOOC plummeted 3.93 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical advanced 0.84 percent, Galaxy Entertainment was up 0.41 percent, Hang Lung Properties climbed 1.23 percent, Henderson Land increased 0.44 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas added 0.33 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.18 percent, Longfor jumped 1.29 percent, Meituan perked 0.88 percent, New World Development lost 0.49 percent, Sands China tanked 2.17 percent, Sun Hung Kai Properties added 0.77 percent, Techtronic Industries surged 5.60 percent, Xiaomi Corporation fell 0.38 percent, WuXi Biologics gained 0.56 percent and Power Assets was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is upbeat as stocks moved mostly higher on Thursday - especially the tech-heavy NASDAQ.

The Dow added 57.31 points or 0.17 percent to finish at 33,503.57, while the NASDAQ jumped 140.47 points or 1.03 percent to end at 13,829.31 and the S&P 500 gained 17.22 points or 0.42 percent to close at 4,097.17.

The strength among tech stocks came following the Federal Reserve's repeated assurances that monetary policy is likely to remain unchanged for the foreseeable future.

Stocks saw continued strength following Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's remarks, which said the economic recovery remains uneven and incomplete and that further coronavirus outbreaks could slow the pace of the recovery.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department said first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased last week.

Crude oil prices eased on Thursday, weighed down by concerns about the outlook for energy demand due to rising coronavirus cases and lockdown measures in several countries. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for May dipped $0.17 or 0.3 percent at $59.60 a barrel.

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