Asian stocks jump on optimism over China market stability

Asian stocks jump on optimism over China market stability

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HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stocks galloped higher Wednesday, led by a surge in Japan, as investor confidence grew that China's recent market turbulence was subsiding.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 index posted its biggest gain this year, jumping 5.7 percent to 18,415.20 as it caught up with a late rebound in China from the day before. South Korea's Kospi added 2.2 percent to 1,920.46 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 2.4 percent to 21,769.27. The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China rose 2 percent to 3,233.28. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.2 percent to 5,174.40.

CHINA CALM: Investor sentiment is improving after Chinese stocks staged a late rebound on Tuesday that saw the Shanghai index swinging from an early loss to end 2.9 percent higher. Almost all the gains came in the final hour of trading, a familiar pattern of the past few weeks that's led market analysts to suspect Beijing is intervening to support share prices. Other steps taken by China's communist leaders in past days to soothe market fears include reassuring comments on the yuan's stability and plans for "circuit breaker" system to suspend trading in case of big declines.

QUOTABLE: "The rebound in China shares certainly has a hand in the pickup in risk sentiment," IG analyst Bernard Aw wrote in a commentary. "It seemed there is now some clarity in the risk markets, after a nerve-wrecking start to the week."

WALL STREET: U.S. stocks reopened after Monday's holiday and rebounded from last week's loss to post their second-biggest gains for the year. The Standard & Poor's 500 gained 2.5 percent to 1,969.41 while the Dow Jones industrial average rose 2.4 percent to 16,492.68. The Nasdaq composite climbed 2.7 percent to 4,811.93 points.

ENERGY: U.S. benchmark oil rose 23 cents to $46.17 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 11 cents to close at $45.94 a barrel in New York on Tuesday. Brent Crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, rose 30 cents to $49.82 in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 120.28 yen from 119.99 yen in the previous trading session. The euro slipped to $1.1196 from $1.1168.

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