Asian stocks rose Thursday after Wall Street rebounded from a sharp sell-off and as a holiday in China gave investors a break from its torrid markets.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 was up 1.4 percent to 18,352.98 and South Korea's Kospi gained 0.2 percent to 1,918.34. Stock markets in Southeast Asia also rose while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.5 percent to 5,077.00. New Zealand's benchmark also fell. Taiwan's benchmark added 0.5 percent to 8,072.27. Markets were closed in China, which has suffered a dramatic slide since June, and Hong Kong.
THE QUOTE: "With US stocks rebounding and mild gains from European markets, we could see some wind keeping Asian equities airborne today," said IG market strategist Bernard Aw in a commentary. "Without China to provide guidance, improved sentiments from the Street would provide trading clues for Asian investors."
CENTRAL BANKS: Attention is turning to the European Central Bank's meeting on Thursday as weak commodity prices and slowing global growth work against its efforts to stimulate inflation and economic growth. Some analysts think the ECB might need to expand its 1.1 trillion euro ($1.2 trillion) of quantitative easing to stoke inflation but most aren't expecting any tweaks to that policy to be announced imminently. The U.S. Federal Reserve, which has been inching toward its first rate hike since the 2008 financial crisis, is also flashing brightly on the radar of investors as its policy meeting set for Sept. 16-17 approaches.
WALL STREET: U.S. stocks rebounded Wednesday, recovering a significant portion of their losses from the day earlier. Investors remain on edge after the latest market plunge, which was triggered by more signs of slowing growth in China. The Dow Jones industrial average added 293.03 points, or 1.8 percent, to 16,351.38. It fell more than 470 points the day before. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 35.01 points, or 1.8 percent, to 1,948.86 and the Nasdaq composite rose 113.87 points, or 2.5 percent, 4,749.98.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was down 33 cents at $45.92 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 84 cents to close at $46.25 a barrel in New York after an Energy Department report showed a decline in fuel supplies, which suggests rising demand. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, was down 5 cents at $50.45 a barrel in London. It rose 94 cents to close at $50.50 a barrel in the previous trading session.
CURRENCIES: The euro was little changed at $1.1217 from $1.1216 in the previous global trading session. The dollar rose to 120.65 yen from 120.61 yen.