Markets Right Now: Asian shares rise on oil price, US gains

AP News
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Posted: Apr 20, 2016 11:32 PM
Markets Right Now: Asian shares rise on oil price, US gains

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest news on global financial markets (all times local):

00:30 a.m.

Asian stocks rose in early trading Thursday, buoyed by a rise in U.S. stocks following an uptick in oil prices. A weakening of the Japanese yen pushed Tokyo's benchmark higher.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 2.0 percent to 17,236.37, as exporters' shares were lifted by the weaker yen, which can boost their profits. Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 1.8 percent to 21,610.86. The Shanghai Composite index added 0.1 percent to 2,976.02. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.1 percent to 5,339.10. South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.7 percent to 2,018.81. Southeast Asian markets were higher.

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4:00 p.m.

Stocks are closing with modest gains on Wall Street after a midday rally lost steam.

Banks and energy companies rose more than the rest of the market Wednesday. Both sectors got some relief after the price of crude oil turned higher. Banks have been in the doldrums as investors worry that loans to struggling oil companies could go bad.

Chesapeake Energy jumped 5 percent. Discover Financial rose 8 percent.

The price of crude oil shook off an early slide and closed up 4 percent.

Coca-Cola fell 5 percent after reporting another decline in revenue.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 42 points, or 0.2 percent, to 18,096.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up a point to 2,102. The Nasdaq composite climbed seven points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,948.

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12:30 p.m.

European stock markets closed higher as the oil price continued its grind higher.

Among the main indexes, Germany's DAX rose 0.6 percent to 10,421.29 while the CAC-40 in France ended 0.6 percent higher at 4,591.92. Britain's FTSE 100 index rose 0.1 percent at 6,410.26.

Oil prices have helped drive stock markets this year and their rebound this week has been viewed as a sign of greater investor confidence in the global economy.

European stocks had traded lower for much of Wednesday's session when oil prices were in retreat. But the subsequent rise in oil prices following U.S. inventory data saw European stocks push ahead. The benchmark New York crude rate was up 72 cents at $43.18.

The main focus on Thursday in European markets will be the policy meeting of the European Central Bank. Though the bank is not expected to announce any further stimulus measures for the 19-country eurozone, its president, Mario Draghi, is widely tipped to suggest more may be forthcoming if needed.

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11:45 a.m.

Stocks are turning higher on Wall Street in midday trading, led by gains in energy companies as the price of oil climbs.

Williams Companies jumped 5 percent Wednesday and Southwestern Energy tacked on 4 percent.

The price of crude oil shook off an early slide and was up 2 percent at about $42 a barrel in New York.

Health care companies were also doing well. Intuitive Surgical was up 4 percent and UnitedHealth Group was up 3 percent.

Coca-Cola fell 5 percent after reporting another decline in revenue.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 57 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,107.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up five points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,106. The Nasdaq composite climbed 20 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,960.

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9:35 a.m.

U.S. stock indexes are narrowly mixed in nearly trading on Wall Street as investors absorb the latest round of company earnings reports.

Coca-Cola fell 4 percent in the first few minutes of trading Wednesday after the company reported another decline in revenue.

Aircraft maker Textron was up 5 percent after its results beat analysts' forecasts. Software maker VMWare was also higher.

The price of crude oil fell after a solid gain the day before.

The Dow Jones industrial average was little changed at 18,049.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped a point to 2,099. The Nasdaq composite edged down 10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,930.

Bond prices didn't move much. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 1.78 percent.

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1:20 p.m.

Wall Street is set to open on a steady note following cautious trading in both Europe and Asia that had its roots in a drop in oil prices.

Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures are set to open around 0.2 percent higher at the bell.

Market observers said the pause was likely following a stellar start to the week. Both the Dow and S&P closed at 2016 highs on Tuesday.

Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG, said "the ability to maintain such an intense pace of stock market gains was always questionable."

In Europe, the main stock markets were trading in narrow ranges, with Germany's DAX 0.2 percent higher at 10,368 and the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares down 0.2 percent at 6,395.

Oil prices have been at the heart of stock market moves this year and their rebound this week have been viewed as a sign that the global economic outlook has improved. On Wednesday, the benchmark New York rate was down 61 cents at $41.86 a barrel.

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10:20 a.m.

European stocks are down in morning trading, tracking their Asian counterparts, as a recent improvement in investor sentiment appeared to run out of steam.

Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.4 percent at 6,382.19 on Wednesday while Germany's DAX dropped 0.2 percent to 10,324.79. France's CAC 40 was down 0.4 percent at 4,549.32.

Investors in Europe will be gradually turning their attention to Thursday's meeting by the European Central Bank. It is not expected to provide more stimulus, after having announced a raft of measures at its last meeting in March. But analysts say that the bank's president, Mario Draghi, will be keen to convey the message during his news conference that more stimulus is possible and available, as needed.

Traders also seem to be reacting to mostly downbeat corporate data, including weak earnings for banks and a 15 percent slide in the shares of Mitsubishi, which said it found evidence its employees falsified fuel mileage test data for several models of vehicles.

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7:30 a.m.

Asian shares were mostly lower by mid-afternoon Wednesday, as sharp declines in Chinese benchmarks and a relapse in oil prices renewed concern over the recent failure of producing nations to agree on capping output.

The Shanghai Composite index sank by nearly 4 percent to 2,922.51 in a late-in-the day sell-off that market players said had no obvious apparent cause.

Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.2 percent to 16,906.54 and the Australian S&P/ASX 200 added 0.5 percent to 5,281.20. Most other benchmarks in the region were lower.

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5:00 a.m.

Asian stocks meandered Wednesday, though sentiment was lifted by Wall Street's strong day, as investor attention turned to upcoming remarks from a European Central Bank official.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 edged up 0.5 percent in morning trading to 16,962.28. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.3 percent to 5,271.80. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.3 percent to 2,016.81. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.6 percent to 21,307.82, while the Shanghai Composite inched up nearly 0.1 percent to 3,044.98.