Asia stocks end week on a positive note, oil rebounds

21 May 2016 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


AFP - Asia stocks rose yesterday, ending the week on a positive note as oil prices rebounded and investors continued to weigh the impact of a possible US interest rate hike as early as June.

Markets were also eyeing a Japan meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the G7 for fresh trading cues, where talks could highlight a sharp divide among the club of rich nations over how to rev up global growth. 

Sentiment in Europe and the US had been slightly unsettled Thursday following the disappearance of an EgyptAir plane in the Mediterranean with 66 people on board, but the unease appeared not to extend to Asia.

Tokyo and Sydney both gained 0.5 percent, while Shanghai closed 0.7 percent higher. Hong Kong was also up 0.9 percent in the afternoon. 

Energy and commodity firms were among those lifted, as world oil prices advanced in Asian trade, with Brent crude back above $49 a barrel.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate advanced 0.6 percent at $48.47 and Brent crude was trading 0.5 percent, higher at $49.03.

In Hong Kong, China Shenhua Energy gained 3.3 percent and PetroChina increased 0.8 percent. 
Sydney-listed mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto gained 0.8 percent and 1.7 percent respectively. 

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