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Higher Open Predicted For China Stock Market

The China stock market on Thursday ended the two-day slide in which it had eased just 5 points or 0.2 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just above the 3,480-point plateau and it may pick up steam 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 SCI finished barely higher on Thursday as gains from the resource stocks were offset by weakness from the properties and a mixed picture from the financials.

For the day, the index added 2.93 points or 0.08 percent to finish at 3,482.55 after trading between 3,459.32 and 3,495.91. The Shenzhen Composite Index eased 0.16 points to end at 2,257.95.

Among the actives, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China eased 0.18 percent, Bank of China shed 0.30 percent, China Construction Bank and China Merchants Bank both collected 0.14 percent, China Life Insurance added 0.69 percent, Jiangxi Copper skyrocketed 9.51 percent, Aluminum Corp of China (Chalco) soared 2.56 percent, Yanzhou Coal advanced 0.96 percent, PetroChina fell 0.23 percent, Gemdale retreated 2.12 percent, Poly Developments sank 0.84 percent, China Vanke tumbled 1.78 percent, Beijing Capital Development lost 0.35 percent and China Shenhua Energy, Bank of Communications and China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) were 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.

Closer to home, China will release March figures for consumer and producer prices. Overall inflation is expected to sink 0.4 percent on month and rise 0.3 percent on year after gaining 0.6 percent on month and falling 0.2 percent on year in February. Producer prices are tipped to gain 3.5 percent on year, up from 1.7 percent in February.

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