Asia-Pacific stocks rise as oil prices continue upward pull

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific rose in Thursday morning trade as US stocks bounced back overnight. Oil prices, however, continue to move higher following a price surge in recent days.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan gained 0.82% in morning trade while the Topix index climbed 1.12%. South Korea’s Kospi also gained 1.15%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.87%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.56% higher.

Looking ahead, a private survey of Chinese services activity in February is set to be out on Thursday, with the Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index expected at 9:45 am HK/SIN.

Oil prices continue climbing

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Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 596.40 points to 33,891.35. The S&P 500 gained 1.86% to 4,386.54 while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.62% to 13,752.02.

Currencies

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 97,477 — still higher as compared with levels below 96.6 seen last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 115.60 per dollar, having weakened yesterday from below 115.2 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7286, largely holding on to gains from its climb below $0.72 earlier in the week.

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