The stock market in Hong Kong opened higher and is trading in positive territory on Thursday morning, taking cues from the markets in the U.S, where the major indices gained amid choppy trading, on expectations of a global economic recovery. A deal announced in the housing sector and positive reaction to a speculation over the U.S. Treasury extending the TARP funding to the insurance sector helped the U.S. markets overlook the still-fluid economic conditions.

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On Wednesday, the Dow closed up 47.55 points or 0.6% at 7,837, the Nasdaq closed up 29.05 points or 1.9% at 1,591 and the S&P 500 closed up 9.61 points or 1.2% at 825.16.

In Asian trading, crude oil is currently up $0.53 at $49.91 a barrel in electronic trading. Light sweet crude for May delivery closed up $0.23 at $49.38 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Wednesday after an Energy Information Administration data revealed a smaller-than-expected build in crude oil stockpiles from last week.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index opened higher at 14,678, compared to its previous close of 14,475, and is presently trading at 14,689, up 214.21 points, or 1.48%

Bank stocks are advancing. HSBC Holdings is gaining 3.21%, Hang Seng Bank is advancing 2.00%, Bank of Communications is rising 2.92%, Bank of China is adding 2.97% and Bank of East Asia is moving up 2.28%. Other banks are also trading in positive territory.

Insurance stocks are trading higher. Ping An is rising 6.37% and China Life is adding 2.07%.

Among property stocks, Henderson Land is gaining 1.97%, Wharf Holdings is advancing 4.90%, SHK Properties is edging up 0.39%, New World Development is adding 2.60% and Hang Lung Property is rising 2.60%..

Resource stocks are also advancing. Aluminum Corporation of China, or CHALCO, is rising 3.43%, CNOOC is gaining 1.78% and PetroChina is adding 1.89%.

Among China-related stocks, China Resources is edging up 0.17%, and China Overseas s gaining 4.01%, but China Mercantile Holdings is losing 3.38%.

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