Oil Price Rises Boost Asian Markets

Markets in Japan and Australia have started higher on Wednesday, following the gains from US markets. At the open, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 213.92 points, or 1.3%, at 16,142.71.

In Australia, the S&P ASX 200 kicked off the Wednesday session with a gain of 1.05% – or 52 points – to 5,028.

Among those stocks with the more marked movement, shares of Shinsei Bank in Japan jumped by more than 5% in Tokyo trade.

That followed reports the company will develop a smartphone payment system with a Chinese partner.

Also in Japan, Fast Retailing shares opened 2.2% higher on reports in local media the company will slash prices at its Uniqlo clothing stores. The retailer last week warned that its profit will weaken, due to slower sales.

Elsewhere in Asia, markets in South Korea are shut for a public holiday. Trading will resume on Thursday.

US markets all closed higher overnight, as market sentiment got a boost from higher oil prices. That led to a rally in energy sector shares on Wall Street.

After weeks of decline due to oversupply, oil prices rebounded overnight, on reports oil producers Russia and Saudi Arabia have reached a consensus about a freeze in output ahead of the Opec producer’s meeting in Doha, Qatar on April 17.

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