China Stock Market Poised To Extend Thursday's Gains

(RTTNews) – The China stock market on Thursday ended the two-day slide in which it had eased just two points. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just above the 3,400-point plateau and it may add to its winnings on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat on stimulus hopes and the ongoing coronavirus vaccine rollout. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were up and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The SCI finished sharply higher on Thursday following gains from the financial shares, properties and resource stocks.

For the day, the index jumped 37.89 points or 1.13 percent to finish at 3,404.87 after trading between 3,354.01 and 3,406.15. The Shenzhen Composite Index advanced 20.97 points or 0.93 percent to end at 2,269.48.

Among the actives, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China collected 0.60 percent, while Bank of China and China Construction Bank both added 0.31 percent, China Merchants Bank eased 0.02 percent, Bank of Communications rose 0.22 percent, China Life Insurance rallied 2.00 percent, Jiangxi Copper skyrocketed 7.84 percent, Aluminum Corp of China (Chalco) surged 5.57 percent, Yanzhou Coal fell 0.20 percent, PetroChina jumped 1.69 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) climbed 1.24 percent, China Shenhua Energy spiked 2.20 percent, Gemdale advanced 1.01 percent, Poly Developments gained 0.37 percent and China Vanke gathered 0.84 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks opened higher on Thursday and remained in the green throughout the session, sending the major averages to fresh record closing highs.

The Dow climbed 148.83 points or 0.49 percent to finish at 30,303.37, while the NASDAQ jumped 106.56 points or 0.84 percent to end at 12,764.75 and the S&P 500 gained 21.31 points or 0.58 percent to close at 3,722.48.

The early strength on Wall Street came amid positive developments on the stimulus front, with lawmakers signaling progress toward an agreement on a new relief package.

The positive sentiment was partly offset by a Labor Department report showing an unexpected increase in first-time claims for U.S. jobless benefits last week. However, while this raised concerns about the outlook for the labor market, it could also put further pressure on lawmakers to reach an agreement on a stimulus bill.

Crude oil prices were up for the fourth straight day on Thursday, hitting a 10-month closing high on optimism about a coronavirus relief package in the U.S. and the rollout of vaccines. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended higher by $0.54 or 1.1 percent at $48.36 a barrel.