Asian Shares Meander Following Mixed Cues From Wall Street

Specialists Mario Picone, left, and Anthony Matesic work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. Stocks are opening slightly lower on Wall Street as the market gives back some of a big gain from the day before. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

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

Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index gained 1.4 percent to finish at 16,140.34 and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.2 percent to 1,916.63. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 inched up 0.1 percent to 4,881.20 and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong dipped 1.2 percent to 18,962.45. The Shanghai Composite index fell 4.0 percent to 2,811.35. Shares rose in Taiwan, Indonesia and New Zealand.

“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 percent drop to move 1 percent higher, and stocks followed,” he said. “This U-turn in sentiment sees Asia Pacific markets set for a positive day.”

U.S. crude oil slipped 2 cents to $32.13 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, rose 1 cent to $34.42.

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

The dollar rose slightly to 112.06 yen from 112.08 yen in the previous day’s trading. The euro inched up to $1.1034 from $1.1011.