Asian shares mixed after reversal from Wall Street losses

TOKYO - Asian shares were mixed in early trading on Thursday after an overnight reversal from losses on Wall Street, thanks in part to a pickup in the price of crude oil.

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KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index gained 0.7 per cent to 16,027.03 and South Korea's Kospi gained 0.5 per cent to 1,922.74. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.3 per cent to 4,862.60 and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell 0.5 per cent to 19,101.36. The Shanghai Composite index fell 1.6 per cent to 2,883.56. Shares rose in Taiwan and Indonesia and fell in New Zealand.

ANALYST VIEWPOINT: "Despite the tenuous theoretical link between supply side-driven lower oil prices and weakening share markets, they again moved in lock step overnight," said Michael McCarthy of CMC Markets. "Oil reversed a 4 per cent drop to move 1 per cent higher, and stocks followed," he said. "This U-turn in sentiment sees Asia Pacific markets set for a positive day."

OIL BOUNCE: U.S. crude oil slipped 14 cents to $32.01 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It closed up 28 cents at $32.15 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude oil, which is used to price oil internationally, fell 18 cents to $34.23. On Wednesday, it gained $1.14, or 3.4 per cent, to $34.10 a barrel in London.

WALL STREET GAINS: After dramatic losses earlier in the day, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 53.21 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 16,484.99. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 8.53 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 1,929.80 and the Nasdaq composite rose 39.02 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 4,542.61.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.30 yen from 112.08 yen in the previous day's trading. The euro inched up to $1.1020 from $1.1011.



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