Asian stocks rise after Wall Street gains, oil surges
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks rose Tuesday after Wall Street posted modest gains on deal reports and turmoil in Saudi Arabia sent crude prices surging.
KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.8 percent to 22,729.23 and the Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.6 percent to 3,406.57. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.9 percent to 28,868.82 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 rose 0.7 percent to 5,995.10. Seoul’s Kospi shed 0.1 percent to 2,547.32. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore and Jakarta advanced, while New Zealand declined.
WALL STREET: Chipmakers surged after Broadcom offered to buy competitor Qualcomm for $103 billion, which if completed would be the largest tech acquisition ever. Reports that Sprint’s owner, Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, might buy cable company Charter hammered shares of telecom giants AT&T and Verizon, which might face tougher competition. Sellers of household goods slumped on weak quarterly results from CVS Health and food distributor Sysco. Twenty-First Century Fox and Disney both climbed after a report Disney might buy Fox assets. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.1 percent to 2,591.13. The Dow Jones industrial average added less than 0.1 percent to 23,548.42. The Nasdaq composite gained 0.3 percent to 6,786.44.
SAUDI TURMOIL: A wave of arrests of princes and other officials in what the Saudi leadership says is an anti-corruption crackdown sent shockwaves through global oil markets, pushing prices to two-year highs. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest exporter of oil. Energy companies jumped and drilling companies making some of the biggest gains. Skeptics of the sweep say it targets potential rivals or possible critics of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who heads the anti-corruption committee that was formed late Saturday shortly before the arrests
ANALYST’S TAKE: “The Saudi corruption purge is boosting crude oil prices. But while this may sound bad news from an economic perspective, it may actually be good news for Asia,” said Rob Carnell of IG in a report. “The current rise means the Middle East will hopefully be buying more of what is made in this part of the world, and provide a boost to what is otherwise a rather narrow semiconductor-driven export rise.”
TRUMP WATCH: South Korea was deploying more than 15,000 officers as critics and supporters of Donald Trump planned rallies during the American president’s visit to Seoul. Many South Koreans are concerned that Trump’s fiery rhetoric on North Korea, which has included threats of military options, is raising risks of war on the Korean Peninsula. Trump is on a 12-day tour of Asia. Before leaving Tokyo for Seoul, the president said on Twitter he and South Korean President Moon Jae-in “will figure it all out” when it comes to North Korea.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude declined 10 cents to $57.25 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract surged $1.70 on Monday to close at $57.35. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 14 cents to $64.13 in London. It soared $2.20 the previous session to $64.27.
CURRENCY: The dollar climbed to 113.88 yen from Monday’s 113.71. The euro declined to $1.1608 from $1.1612.