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India’s Sensex is expected to rise on Thursday as investor confidence is likely to be lifted by encouraging economic indicators from China and the U.S.

China's non-manufacturing activity rose in December compared to that in the previous month, decreasing the concerns over the slowdown in the economic growth of the country. According to the data released on Thursday by the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, the non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 56.1 in December, up from 55.6 in November.

On Thursday, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.28 percent, or 64.96 points, to 23376.94. Among major gainers were Citic Pacific Ltd (11.42 percent) and Sands China Ltd (5.30 percent).

On Wednesday, the U.S. stocks rose as investor confidence turned positive with the House of Representatives passing the Senate approved bill intended to avert the looming fiscal cliff consisting of tax increases and spending cuts. Investors sense that this deal was much needed to prevent the U.S. economy from falling over and returning to recession.

Meanwhile, according to the data released on Wednesday by the Institute of Supply Management, manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, rose to 50.7 in December, up from 49.5 in November. A level above 50 represents expansion in the industry.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.35 percent, the S&P 500 Index was up 2.54 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 3.07 percent.

European markets also rose Wednesday following global cues. London's FTSE 100 was up 129.56 points, Germany's DAX 30 index rose 166.39 points and France's CAC 40 gained 92.86 points.

On Wednesday, the Sensex rose 0.68 percent to 19714.24 at the close. The overall market breadth was positive with 1797 advances against 1166 declines. The BSE's Midcap Index gained 0.56 percent to 7238 and Smallcap Index advanced 0.90 percent to 7519.83.