Asian shares meandered in lackluster trading Tuesday after an overnight drop in oil prices. But a fresh promise of stimulus from Beijing helped to counter pessimism over weak trade data from China for April.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 1.5 percent to 16,459.92 as the dollar regained strength, a boon for the nation’s exporters. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.2 percent to 5,332.40 in early trading. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.4 percent to 1,976.19. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 0.2 percent to 20,109.77, while the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.2 percent to 2,826.56.
CHINA FACTOR: China’s Cabinet approved measures to boost exports as Beijing struggles to reduce gluts in many industries and reverse an export decline that threatens to cause politically dangerous job losses. The measures announced late Monday include more bank lending, an increase in tax rebates and support for export credits. They followed a decline in trade in April.
ENERGY: U.S. crude fell 10 cents to $43.34 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell $1.22 overnight to $43.44. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, added 7 cents to $43.66 a barrel in London.
THE QUOTE: “Two developing macro themes are set to dominate markets in the near-term: the continued gain in the U.S. dollar and the pullback in the oil price. Last night saw these trends continue to develop,” Angus Nicholson of IG said in a note.
WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average edged down 34.72 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,705.91 as machinery maker Caterpillar and energy giant Chevron lost ground. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index picked up 1.55 points to 2,058.69. The Nasdaq composite index rose 14.05 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,750.21.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 108.73 yen from 108.29 yen. The euro slipped to $ 1.1372 from $1.1401.
AP Markets Writer Marley Jay contributed to this report.
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