Win Streak May Continue For Hong Kong Bourse

(RTTNews) - The Hong Kong stock market has finished higher in three straight sessions, advancing more than 250 points or 0.9 percent along the way. The Hang Seng Index now rests just above the 28,775-point plateau and it's tipped to extend its gains on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests modest support on optimism for a trade deal between the U.S. and China. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were up and the Asian markets are expected to follow the latter lead.

The Hang Seng finished modestly higher on Thursday as gains from the properties were limited by weakness from the oil companies and mixed performances from the financials, casinos and insurance stocks.

For the day, the index collected 46.96 points or 0.16 percent to finish at 28,775.21 after trading between 28,558.80 and 28,816.59.

Among the actives, China Mengniu Dairy surged 5.47 percent, while New World Development soared 2.24 percent, Sun Hung Kai Properties spiked 2.14 percent, WH Group tumbled 0.93 percent, CITIC jumped 0.87 percent, Galaxy Entertainment skidded 0.67 percent, Sands China climbed 0.65 percent, AAC Technologies dropped 0.65 percent, Ping An Insurance advanced 0.53 percent, China Life Insurance shed 0.49 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas added 0.43 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) lost 0.32 percent, CNOOC fell 0.28 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Tencent Holdings both fell 0.17 percent, BOC Hong Kong dipped 0.16 percent, CSPC Pharmaceutical eased 0.14 percent, AIA Group rose 0.07 percent and China Mobile was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks fluctuated again on Thursday, extending recent volatility before finishing in the green.

The Dow added 91.87 points or 0.36 percent to 25,717.46, while the NASDAQ gained 25.79 points or 0.34 percent to 7,669.17 and the S&P 500 rose 10.07 points or 0.36 percent to 2,815.44.

The higher close on Wall Street came as traders reacted to reports of progress in the ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China as U.S. representatives arrived in Beijing for a new round of high-level talks with Chinese officials.

Buying interest was subdued however, amidst largely disappointing economic data, including a Commerce Department showing GDP growth slowed more than estimated in the fourth quarter.

Also, the National Association of Realtors noted an unexpected pullback in pending home sales in February, while the Labor Department reported an unexpected drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits last week.

Crude oil futures settled modestly lower Thursday, as an unexpected jump in crude inventories and worries about energy demand weighed on prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended down $0.11 or 0.2 percent at $59.30 a barrel.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.