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Asian stocks rise after oil falls, Wall Street advances

10:46 18 September 2019 Author :  

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock prices rose Wednesday after oil prices fell back and Wall Street advanced.

Benchmarks in Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong all gained.

Markets steadied following a decline Tuesday in crude prices that spiked after a weekend attack on a Saudi soil facility. The Saudi oil minister said half of production that was cut already had been restored.

"Concerns surrounding elevated oil prices have eased," said Mizuho Bank in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.4% to 2,991.87 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 added 11 points to 22,012.82. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 7 points at 26,794.33.

Investors were looking ahead to a possible decision Wednesday by the U.S. Federal Reserve to cut its benchmark interest rate by another quarter point following a reduction in July that was its first in a decade.

Wall Street gained after the Federal Reserve Bank of New York took the unusual step of injecting $53 billion into markets to ease tight credit conditions that were putting upward pressure on interest rates.

"The underlying issue is the growing scarcity of excess reserves in the system," said Chris Weston of Pepperstone Group in a report.

Elsewhere in Asia, Seoul's Kospi rose 0.5% to 2,072.92 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.2% to 6,683.50.

Taiwan advanced while New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets retreated.

On Wall Street, the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.3% to 3,005.70. It is back to within 0.7% of its record set in late July.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% to 27,110.80. The Nasdaq composite gained 0.4% to 8,186.02.

Energy stocks slumped to give back nearly half of their huge gains from a day earlier. Rising prices for technology stocks and companies that sell to consumers made up for those losses.

Investor worries about the U.S.-Chinese tariff war were temporarily overshadowed by the weekend attack on oil producer Saudi Aramco's facility in Abqaiq. Yemeni rebels claimed responsibility, but U.S. officials said they suspected Iran.

Crude surged more than 14% on Monday, about as much as it did when Iraq invaded Kuwait before the 1991 Gulf War. The attack forced Abqaiq to cut production equivalent to 5% of the global total, but Saudi oil minister said it would be completely restored by the end of the month.

On Wednesday, Japan's government reported exports fell for a ninth month in August, declining 8.2% in August from a year earlier.

"Exports are likely to remain weak over the coming year," said Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics in a report.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 26 cents to $59.08 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract plunged $3.56 on Tuesday to close at $59.34. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 4 cents to $64.59 per barrel in London. It fell $4.47 the previous session to $64.55.

CURRENCY: The dollar gained to 108.21 yen from 108.12 yen on Monday. The euro declined to $1.1067 from $1.1072.

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