Chinese stocks fall again, other Asian markets rise

AP News
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Posted: Jan 26, 2016 10:57 PM
Chinese stocks fall again, other Asian markets rise

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese stocks sank again Wednesday but other Asian markets rose following Wall Street's gain as investors looked ahead to the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest statement on interest rates and the economic outlook.

KEEPING SCORE: China's Shanghai Composite shed 2.8 percent to 2,672.45, adding to Tuesday's 6.4 percent loss; the index has now surrendered most of the gains it made since December 2014. Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 1.7 percent to 16,994.44 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.6 percent to 18,978.77. South Korea's Kospi added 0.7 percent to 1,885.49. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 1.1 percent to 4,951.90. Markets in Taiwan and Southeast Asia rose.

WALL STREET: U.S. stocks jumped as the price of oil made another abrupt reversal and rose 4 percent following a decline the previous day. Chevron and Exxon Mobil made major gains. Strong fourth-quarter results from beleaguered wireless provider Sprint gave telecom stocks a boost. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 282.01 points, or 1.8 percent, to 16,167.23. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 26.55 points, or 1.4 percent, to 1,903.63. The Nasdaq composite index added 49.18 points, or 1.1 percent, to 4,567.67.

FED PLANS: Investors were watching Wednesday's Fed statement for signs of the pace of possible future rate hikes. The U.S. central bank raised rates last month for the first time since the 2008 global crisis, citing improved inflation and other data. But uncertainty over the strength of the dollar, low oil prices and China's outlook have prompted warnings against raising rates too fast.

ANALYST'S QUOTE: Fed officials will probably want to acknowledge the extra uncertainty raised by recent financial and international developments, said Jim O'Sullivan of High Frequency Economics in a report. "But they will likely also want to avoid encouraging the perception that a relatively modest bout of risk aversion in markets or mixed signals from the data will promptly change their outlook in a major way."

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 71 cents to $30.73 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract soared $1.11 on Tuesday to close at $31.45. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oils, fell 63 cents to $31.17 per barrel in London. It jumped $1.30 on Tuesday to $31.80.

CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 118.10 yen from Tuesday's 118.31 yen. The euro inched up to $1.0868 from $1.0864.