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Additional Support Predicted For Hong Kong Shares

The Hong Kong stock market on Wednesday halted the five-day losing streak in which it had tumbled more than 750 points or 2.8 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 28,200-point plateau and it may add to its winnings on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat in surging crude oil prices and renewed optimism for the outlook on interest rates. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were up - and the Asian markets also figure to open higher.

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

For the day, the index rose 88.41 points or 0.31 percent to finish at 28,204.69 after trading between 28,080.73 and 28,312.97.

Among the actives, CSPC Pharmaceutical surged 4.10 percent, while Galaxy Entertainment soared 2.29 percent, China Mengniu Dairy spiked 1.79 percent, Tencent Holdings jumped 1.71 percent, CNOOC climbed 1.39 percent, WH Group gathered 1.06 percent, AIA Group tumbled 0.66 percent, Ping An Insurance dropped 0.59 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas perked 0.46 percent, China Life Insurance shed 0.41 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) lost 0.39 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.37 percent, Techtronic Industries sank 0.34 percent, CITIC added 0.18 percent, BOC Hong Kong gained 0.16 percent, China Mobile fell 0.07 percent and Sands China, Sino Land, AAC Technologies and New World Development were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks opened higher on Wednesday, gave ground in the afternoon but still finished in the green.

The Dow added 76.71 points or 0.29 percent to 26,860.20, while the NASDAQ gained 60.80 points or 0.75 percent to 8,202.53 and the S&P 500 rose 13.44 points or 0.45 percent to 2,993.07.

Early buying interest was generated by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's remarks before the House Financial Services Committee. Powell told lawmakers that crosscurrents, such as trade tensions and concerns about global growth, have continued to weigh on the U.S. economic outlook since the central bank's June meeting.

Powell's comments led to renewed optimism about a potential rate cut by the Fed at its next meeting later this month. Mirroring Powell's remarks, the minutes of the central bank's June meeting released later in the day said many participants believe the case for lowering interest rates has strengthened.

Crude oil prices rose sharply Wednesday after data showed a larger than expected decline in U.S. crude stockpiles last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended up $2.60 or 4.5 percent at $60.43 a barrel, a seven-week high.

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