Asian stocks mixed as crude oil rises, Chinese shares fall

AP News
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Posted: May 16, 2016 11:36 PM
Asian stocks mixed as crude oil rises, Chinese shares fall

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were mixed Tuesday, as a jump in oil prices, a weaker yen and optimism on Wall Street helped to offset worries over China's growth.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 edged up 0.9 percent to 16,615.11 in morning trading as the yen continued to weaken, a plus for Japanese exporters. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.5 percent to 5,385.20. South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.1 percent to 1,965.77. Hong Kong's Hang Seng inched down nearly 0.1 percent to 19,898.83, while the Shanghai Composite slid 0.5 percent to 2,837.74.

APPLE FACTOR: Shares on Wall Street were boosted by news that billionaire Warren Buffett had invested in Apple, triggering a 3.7 percent jump in that stock. Apple is the most heavily weighted member of the S&P 500 and so a rise in its stock has an outsize impact on the index.

WALL STREET: The S&P 500 rose 20.05 points, or 1 percent, to 2,066.66. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 175.39 points, or 1 percent, to 17,710.71. The Nasdaq composite index gained 57.78 points, or 1.2 percent, to 4,775.46.

THE FED: U.S. interest rate policy could impact stocks this week. In addition to planned remarks from several Federal Reserve officials, the Fed is scheduled to release minutes of its last meeting on Wednesday. Investors will be looking for hints on central bank plans for raising interest rates.

THE QUOTE: "Markets seem to be in a relatively sweet spot with a steadily stronger U.S. dollar and resilient commodities prices. Many investors have been predicting a pullback in markets, but despite all the negativity, markets have continued to grind higher," Angus Nicholson of IG said in a note.

ENERGY: U.S. crude rose 47 cents to $48.19 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose $1.51 on Monday to $47.72 a barrel. A plunge in oil prices since mid-2014 had hammered energy company earnings, and a recovery is good news for investor sentiment. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 24 cents to $49.21 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 108.94 yen from 108.90 yen and the euro rose to $1.1316 from $1.1306.

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AP Business Writer Bernard Condon contributed to this report.

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