The stock market in Hong Kong opened strongly on Wednesday morning, taking cues from the U.S. markets where the major averages ended higher on the last trading day of the first quarter on bargain hunting by investors at lower prices. Lower commodity prices in the international market and expectations from the upcoming G20 meeting also lifted the positive sentiment.

On Tuesday, the Dow closed up 86.90 points or 1.2% at 7,609, the Nasdaq closed up 26.79 points or 1.8% at 1,529 and the S&P 500 closed up 10.34 points or 1.3% at 798.

In Asian trading, crude oil is currently down $1.24 at $48.42 a barrel, in electronic trading. Light sweet crude for May delivery closed at $49.66 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday, up $1.25 a barrel, after hitting an intraday high of $50.00 and a low of $47.77, amid weaker U.S. dollar, as traders await the weekly inventory report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index opened Wednesday's session at 13,746, higher than its previous close at 13,576 and is presently trading at 13,598 up 0.16% or 22.25 points. Financial stocks and china related stocks are leading the gains in the markets.

BOC HongKong is advancing 9.21%, following the news that the parent company Bank of China will increase its stake in the subsidiary over the next 12 months through market purchases. Mixed trend is being witnessed among other banks, with HSBC Holdings gaining 1.17%, and Hang Seng Bank edging down 0.38%

Oil and gas producer, CNOOC, is gaining 1.95%. The company reported flat growth in the second half of last year, as lower margins offset lower crude oil prices during the period. Aluminum Corp. of China, or CHALCO, is moving up 4.94%.

China Unicom is down more than 7% after the second largest mobile carrier by subscribers reported higher profit for the year 2008.

China-related stocks are trading mixed. While China Mercantile Holdings is gaining 5.16%, China Resources is losing 0.83%.

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