Hong Kong Stock Market May Crack 25,000-Point Barrier

The Hong Kong stock market has finished higher in two of three trading days since the end of the two-day slide in which it had plummeted more than 620 points or 2.6 percent. The Hang Seng Index now sits just above the 24,700-point plateau and it's tipped to open higher again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly positive on a U.S. debt limit agreement, upbeat economic news and a spike in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow suit.

The Hang Seng finished sharply higher on Thursday with gains across the board - especially from the casinos, properties and technology stocks.

For the day, the index surged 735.24 points or 3.07 percent to finish at 24,701..73 after trading between 24,310.11 and 24,741.28.

Among the actives, AAC Technologies jumped 2.96 percent, while AIA Group climbed 0.95 percent, Alibaba Group surged 7.28 percent, Alibaba Health Info spiked 4.62 percent, ANTA Sports added 0.82 percent, China Life Insurance gained 1.89 percent, China Mengniu Dairy increased 1.38 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) perked 0.99 percent, China Resources Land rose 0.47 percent, CITIC was up 0.62 percent, CNOOC plunged 3.49 percent, Country Garden gathered 2.88 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical improved 1.76 percent, Galaxy Entertainment rose 1.79 percent, Hang Lung Properties advanced 2.39 percent, Henderson Land soared 7.05 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas gained 1.03 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 1.87 percent, Li Ning added 2.08 percent, Longfor jumped 1.13 percent, Meituan skyrocketed 9.71 percent, New World Development rallied 2.98 percent, Sands China climbed 2.95 percent, Sun Hung Kai Properties perked 2.41 percent, Techtronic Industries tumbled 2.07 percent, Xiaomi Corporation accelerated 3.89 percent and WuXi Biologics strengthened 2.94 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is solid as the major averages opened higher on Thursday and remained that way throughout the trading day.

The Dow surged 337.95 points or 0.98 percent to finish at 34,754.94, while the NASDAQ jumped 152.10 points or 1.05 percent to close at 14,654.02 and the S&P 500 gained 36.21 points or 0.83 percent to end at 4,399.76.

The rally on Wall Street came as lawmakers reached an agreement to temporarily extend the debt limit, avoiding a potential default. The agreement would reportedly increase the debt limit by $480 billion, allowing the Treasury to continuing paying its bills through December 3.

Adding to the positive sentiment, a report from the Labor Department showed a bigger than expected pullback in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits last week.

Crude oil prices advanced Thursday, rebounding from losses in the previous session, on reports the U.S. Energy Department is unlikely to tap the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended up $0.87 or 1.1 percent at $78.30 a barrel.

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