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Stocks

Hong Kong stocks climb for third day as casinos rally

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Hong Kong shares headed for a third day of advances as an overnight rally on Wall Street kept investor spirits high and Wynn Macau paced gains among casino stocks after reporting earnings.

The Hang Seng Index added 0.6% to 24,598.85. Wynn Macau jumped 4.8%, the most in three weeks, after saying Wednesday its first-quarter net income climbed 26% on the back of a 75% jump in total operating revenue. Among other gaming companies, Sands China and Galaxy Entertainment Group increased at least 3.7%. Heavyweight HSBC Holdings was poised to rise for a fifth day in a row after being selected as an adviser to Saudi Aramco's initial public offering and U.S. bond yields gained on Tuesday. Insurer AIA Group gained 1.8%.

Hong Kong stocks have this week rebounded after a two-week losing streak as the first round of French presidential elections signaled strong prospects for Emmanuel Macron, a pro-European Union candidate also seen as business-friendly. Sentiment has also been bolstered after U.S. President Donald Trump last week promised a "big announcement" on Wednesday related to his proposed tax reforms for businesses and individuals.

"Markets globally remained well supported on account of the relief out of France, and once again there are hopes that Trump will deliver on tax reforms," said Daniel So, strategist at CMB International Securities. "However, we are at the top end of the recent range on the Hang Seng index in what is essentially a range-bound market, and further gains may be difficult to come by."

The Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.4% in mainland markets, while the yuan traded onshore was little changed at 6.8852 to a dollar. The Nikkei Asia300 index climbed 0.5% to 1,189.10.

Shares of Baidu jumped 3.9% on Wall Street overnight after video-streaming services major Netflix said it's struck a licensing deal with the Chinese internet search major's unit iQiyi to show the U.S. firm's original content in China. Netflix shares surged to a record.

Anhui Conch Cement rose 0.2% in Hong Kong after reporting an 86% jump in net profit for the January-March quarter.

Huaneng Power International slipped 0.2% following an 87% slump in its quarterly net income. China Citic Bank, a subsidiary of Citic, slipped 0.8% after reporting its quarterly profit increased 1.7%.

China Communications Construction increased 0.9% after saying the value of new contracts jumped 40% in the first quarter.

I-Cable, which is currently owned by Wharf, a subsidiary of Hong Kong developer Wheelock, rose 1.7%. A deadline to confirm acceptance and execution of its pay-TV license has been extended to May 31 from April 26, The Standard newspaper reported.

-- Nimesh Vora and V. Phani Kumar

-- Nikkei Markets is a real-time financial news service for South East Asia's markets published by Nikkei NewsRise Asia Pte Ltd, a Nikkei and NewsRise joint venture company. Nikkei Markets provides wide companies coverage in the region, including the Nikkei's Asia300 companies.

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