Asian stocks lifted by optimism on oil prices, Wall Street

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

TOKYO (AP) — Asian stocks logged solid gains Wednesday, cheered by a rally on Wall Street, although oil prices erased some of the recent big gains that had relieved global investors.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 2.8 percent to finish at 16,381.22. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 2.4 percent to 21,000.61, while the Shanghai Composite index climbed 1.5 percent at 3,069.74. Other regional markets were higher nearly across the board, including Australia's S&P/ASX 200, which rose 1.5 percent to 5,127.20. South Korea's markets were closed for an election holiday.

WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 164.84 points, or 0.9 percent, to 17,721.25. The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 19.73 points, or 1 percent, to 2,061.72 and the Nasdaq composite increased 38.69 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,872.09.

THE QUOTE: "Oil was the dominant theme again with hopes for a deal to freeze production more entrenched," said Cynthia Jane Kalasopatan of the Singapore Treasury Division of Mizuho Bank.

OIL FACTOR: Russian officials told Interfax, the Russian news agency, that they planned to reach a deal with Saudi Arabia to cut oil production, raising hopes that the recent gains in oil prices will not abate. OPEC ministers meet this Sunday in Doha, Qatar.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 80 cents to $41.37 in New York. It surged $1.81 on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 87 cents to $43.82. It rose $1.86 on Tuesday.

CURRENCIES: The euro fell to $ 1.1349 from $1.1422 late Tuesday while the dollar rose to 108.88 yen from 108.31 yen.


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