By RTT News,
July 16, 2014, 09:16:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - The Hong Kong stock market has moved higher now in three straight trading days, collecting almost 300 points or 1.3 percent in that span. The Hang Seng Index finished just below the 23,525-point plateau, and the market may extend its gains on Thursday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat, thanks to M&A activity and economic data. European stocks were sharply higher and U.S. stocks saw more modest gains - and the Asian bourses also figure to open in the green.
The Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Wednesday following mixed performances from the property stocks, financial shares and oil companies.
For the day, the index collected 63.32 points or 0.27 percent to finish at 23,523.28 after trading between 23,562.32 and 23, 430.14 on turnover of 53.46 billion Hong Kong dollars.
Among the actives, CITIC Pacific surged 3.37 percent, while Wharf Holdings jumped 1.60 percent, HSBC collected 0.44 percent, Henderson Land climbed 1.31 percent, PetroChina gained 0.99 percent, China Unicom lost 0.77 percent, Sands China tumbled 1.40 percent, Ping An Insurance fell 0.84 percent and China Life dropped 1.19 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is fairly optimistic as stocks moved mostly higher on Wednesday after experiencing choppy trading for much of the previous session. With the gains, the Dow closed higher for the fourth consecutive session, reaching a new record high.
The Dow climbed 77.52 points or 0.5 percent to 17,138.20, while the NASDAQ rose 9.58 points or 0.2 percent to 4,425.97 and the S&P 500 advanced 8.29 points or 0.4 percent to 1,981.57.
The strength reflected several positive catalysts, including upbeat earnings from Intel ( INTC ), and merger-and-acquisition news.
Traders reacted positively to quarterly results from Intel, with the semiconductor giant jumping 9.3 percent to a twelve-year closing high. Intel also reported better than expected second quarter earnings and revenues and upbeat guidance.
Shares of Time Warner (TWX) surged 17.1 percent amid news that the entertainment giant rejected an $80 billion dollar takeover bid from 21st Century Fox (FOX).
On the U.S. economic front, the Labor Department said that producer prices increased by more than expected in June amid a rebound in energy prices.
A separate report from the Federal Reserve said industrial production rose less than expected in June, while the National Association of Home Builders said that homebuilder confidence improved by more than anticipated in July.
Later in the day, the Fed's Beige Book said all twelve districts indicated that economic activity continued to expand, with the pace of growth characterized as moderate or modest.
Closer to home, Hong Kong will provide June unemployment data, with analysts expecting the jobless rate to hold steady at 3.1 percent.
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