Asian stocks mostly higher, Japan rallies as yen weakens

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stock markets were mostly higher on Tuesday led by a rally in Japan as investor sentiment was boosted by Wall Street reaching the highest levels in recent months. A weakening of the Japanese yen against the dollar boosted exporters.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei rallied 3.3 percent to 16,818.10 after a sharp loss on Monday. South Korea's Kospi was nearly flat at 2,009.13 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.6 percent to 21,281.61. China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.1 percent to 3,036.85. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.9 percent to 5,253.50. Stocks in Singapore and Indonesia were higher but markets in Taiwan and the Philippines were lower.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "This week takes us into the heart of earnings season," said Alex Furber, senior client services executive at CMC Markets in Singapore. "With not too much in the way of economic data this week, markets are likely to watch earnings reports from the U.S. keenly."

WALL STREET: U.S. stocks closed higher on Monday boosted by energy companies' rally. The Dow climbed 0.6 percent to close at 18,004.16, the highest level since July. The S&P 500 index added 0.7 percent to 2,094.34, the highest in about one year. The Nasdaq composite index gained 0.4 percent to 4,960.02.

OIL: Crude oil prices edged lower after a hefty drop in the previous session due to the failure by oil-producing nations to agree on limiting output. Benchmark U.S. crude lost 19 cents to $39.59 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 58 cents, or 1.4 percent, to close at $39.78 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude, the international benchmark, lost 23 cents to $42.68 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 109.06 yen from 108.96 yen while the euro rose to $1.1327 from $1.1309.