Asian markets rose Monday after Wall Street rebounded from losses to end the week higher on stronger oil and natural gas prices.
KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.5 percent to 3,174.73 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.5 percent to 25,809.12. Toyko’s Nikkei 225 added 0.1 percent to 20,157.42 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 advanced 0.1 percent to 5,721.40. Seoul’s Kospi gained 0.3 percent to 2,386.69 and Taiwan also rose. Markets in India, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia were closed for a holiday.
WALL STREET: Stocks edged higher after energy companies clawed back some of the week’s losses, propelled by higher prices for oil and natural gas. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.2 percent to 2,438.30. The Dow Jones industrial average slipped less than 0.1 percent to 21,394.76 and the Nasdaq composite gained 0.5 percent to 6,265.25. Energy stocks led the way, and those in the S&P 500 climbed 0.8 percent for the largest gain of the 11 sectors that make up the index. Health care stocks climbed as the Senate unveiled its proposal to revamp how Americans get medical care. Technology companies are forecast to report strong earnings growth.
TAKATA BANKRUPTCY: Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. filed for protection from its creditors in Tokyo and the United States, overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of defective air bag inflators linked to deaths and injuries. Takata confirmed most of its assets will be bought by rival Key Safety Systems for about $1.6 billion (175 billion yen). Takata’s inflators can explode with too much force when they fill up an air bag, spewing out shrapnel. So far 100 million inflators have been recalled worldwide. The recalls, which are being handled by 19 automakers, will continue. Experts say the companies must pay for a significant portion of the recalls because Takata’s assets are inadequate.
OIL: Global oil prices have rebounded but are about 15 percent below where they were a year ago. That is a boon to China energy-intensive manufacturing economies but spurs questions about whether exporters will be able to pay their bills. The lower prices also are depressing profits for energy companies. Last week, oil dropped to its lowest price since August on expectations that the world has more crude supplies than users need, dragging down stock markets. In U.S. stock markets, EQT, a producer of natural gas and crude, jumped 8 percent on Friday. Cabot Oil & Gas climbed 3.8 percent.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose another 48 cents to $43.49 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 27 cents on Friday to $43.01. Brent crude, used to price international oils, advanced 49 cents to $46.03 in London. It added 32 cents on Friday to close at $45.54.
CURRENCY: The dollar edged up to 111.28 yen from Friday’s 111.27 yen. The euro gained to $1.1197 from $1.1194.