Asia Markets

Asia stocks rise; oil prices pare gains following surge

Key Points
  • Asia stocks were higher on Wednesday.
  • Australia's retail turnover in March rose 8.5%, according to data released Wednesday by the country's Bureau of Statistics. That was above expectations of a 8.2% increase from a Reuters poll.
  • Oil prices fell in the afternoon of Asian trading hours on Wednesday after surging on Tuesday as they got a boost from optimism around ongoing production cuts and a recovery in demand as economies reopen.

Stocks in Asia rose on Wednesday oil prices retraced some of their overnight gains.

South Korea's Kospi gained 1.76% to close at 1,928.76 as shares of automaker Hyundai Motor jumped 1.86%. The Kosdaq index also rose 2.57% to end its trading day at 658.40.

Mainland Chinese stocks rose on the day, recovering from an earlier dip. The Shanghai composite was 0.63% higher to about 2,878.14 while the Shenzhen composite gained 1.526% to around 1,790.28. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index advanced 1.34%, as of its final hour of trading, with shares of life insurer AIA jumping more than 2%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.42% to close at 5,384.60.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index rose 0.76%.

On the economic data front, Australia's retail sales in March rose 8.5%, according to data released Wednesday by the country's Bureau of Statistics. That was above expectations of a 8.2% increase from a Reuters poll.

Markets in Japan and Thailand were closed on Wednesday for holidays.

Oil prices pare gains 

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asian trading hours after rising earlier. International benchmark Brent crude futures dipped 0.29% to $30.88 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also shed 1.06% to $24.30 per barrel.

The moves came after oil prices surged on Tuesday as they got a boost from optimism around ongoing production cuts and a recovery in demand as economies reopen. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, jumped 20.45%, or $4.17, to settle at $24.56 per barrel. Brent settled 13.86% higher at $30.97 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 99.816 after rising from levels below 99.5 seen earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.31 per dollar following levels around 106.8 seen yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.644 after rising from levels below $0.642 earlier in the trading week.