Asian stocks mixed despite Wall Street rally

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - Asian stock markets were mixed Friday as investors were reluctant to return to risky assets despite ebbing fear about the Chinese currency devaluations and Wall Street rallies overnight.

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The price of oil fell.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 rebounded after a steep fall in the previous session, gaining 0.7 per cent to 17,367.22. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.2 per cent to 4,919.90. But South Korea's Kospi lost 0.2 per cent to 1,893.86 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.5 per cent to 19,705.63. China's Shanghai Composite Index was down 1 per cent to 2,979.08. Stocks in Southeast Asia were mostly higher.

THE QUOTE: "Asian markets look set for a bounce today, but its sustainability is still an open question," said Angus Nicholson, a market analyst at IG in Melbourne, Australia. "Some sense of stability does seem to have been wrestled into the Chinese yuan this week, but the Chinese equity markets have been more immune to muscular shows of state intervention."

U.S. DATA WATCH: Investors may get more insight into how the U.S. economy and Corporate America are doing on Friday. Reports on consumer sentiment, retail sales and manufacturing are due out. Several big banks, including Citigroup and Wells Fargo, are also scheduled to release quarterly earnings.

WALL STREET: U.S. stocks finished higher with the biggest gain in over a month thanks to a rally in energy stocks. The Dow rose 227.64 points, or 1.4 per cent, to 16,379.05. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 31.56 points, or 1.7 per cent, to 1,921.84. The Nasdaq composite added 88.94 points, or 2 per cent, to 4,615.

OIL: The price of crude oil fell again after a rebound in the previous session although it still traded above $30 a barrel. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 58 cents to $30.62 per barrel in New York. The contract rose 72 cents, or 2.4 per cent, to close at $31.20 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, fell 21 cents to $30.67 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The euro rose to $1.0878 from $1.0859, while the dollar fell to 117.99 yen from 118.20 yen.



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