Asian Stocks Mostly Higher, Taking Cues From Wall Street

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -
Men walk past an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016. U.S. stocks climbed Tuesday as the price of oil made its biggest jump in seven months and energy companies rose with it. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
Men walk past an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Asian stock markets were mostly higher Wednesday, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street, as investors awaited more policy details from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. Prices of oil fell back after an overnight rally.

Japan’s Nikkei jumped 1.1 percent to 17,865.61 and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.7 percent to 1,981.80. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.6 percent to 22,461.60, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index edged down 0.1 percent to 3,202.62. Australia’s S&P/ASX added 0.1 percent to 5,330.40, while markets in Taiwan, Singapore and Southeast Asia were stronger.

“International markets showed signs of pausing to wait on evidence of policy specifics before extending moves in the direction of the ‘Trump themes’ of fiscal stimulus and inflation,” Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said in a daily commentary.

Oil prices rallied overnight on hopes that OPEC members would agree to lower output when they meet later this month, but they fell back during Asian trading hours. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 15 cents to $45.66 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract closed up $2.49, or 5.7 percent, to $45.81 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 12 cents to $46.83 a barrel in London.

U.S. stocks finished higher on Tuesday as a rally in the oil markets pushed energy companies higher. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.3 percent to 18,923.06. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.7 percent to 2,180.39 and the Nasdaq composite added 1.1 percent to 5,275.62.

The dollar strengthened to 108.99 yen from 108.94 yen while the euro rose to $1.0749 from $1.0731.