(RTTNews.com) - The Hong Kong stock market on Wednesday snapped the four-day slide in which it had tumbled almost 850 points or 2.8 percent. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 30,280-point plateau and it may extend its gains on Thursday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat, with mild upside offered by a bump in crude oil prices. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were mixed but little changed - and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.
The Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Wednesday following gains from the financials, oil companies and casinos.
For the day, the index advanced 221.50 points or 0.74 percent to finish at 30,284.25 after trading between 29,979.40 and 30,487.17.
Among the actives, AIA Group surged 2.37 percent, while Galaxy Entertainment soared 2.34 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) spiked 1.90 percent, WH Group tumbled 1.72 percent, CNOOC jumped 1.60 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China climbed 1.52 percent, BOC Hong Kong advanced 0.79 percent, Lenovo Group shed 0.76 percent, Tencent Holdings added 0.71 percent, New World Development gained 0.53 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas was up 0.25 percent, Ping An Insurance lost 0.25 percent, Sands China eased 0.11 percent and China Life and China Mengniu Dairy were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks were lackluster on Wednesday, fluctuating as the day progressed before ending mixed.
The Dow dipped 38.56 points or 0.16 percent to 24.748.07, while the NASDAQ rose 14.14 points or 0.19 percent to 7,295.24 and the S&P added 2.25 points or 0.08 percent to 2,708.64.
The choppy trading came amid mixed quarterly results from several big-name companies. While United Continental (UAL) and CSX Corp. (CSX) moved higher after beating the street, IBM Corp. (IBM) fell after providing disappointing full-year earnings guidance.
In economic news, the Federal Reserve released its Beige Book, a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions in the twelve Fed districts. The Beige Book said economic activity continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace across the twelve districts in March and early April.
Crude oil futures continued to rise Wednesday, surging to their highest since December 2014 after U.S. oil inventories dwindled. May WTI oil climbed $1.95 or 2.9 percent to settle at $68.47/bbl.
Closer to home, Hong Kong will release March numbers for unemployment later today; in February, the jobless rate was 2.9 percent.
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