Shanghai gains 2%, Nikkei wavers as oil, China weigh – CNBC

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Though China’s trade balance for January, released Monday, was weak, comments from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) governor sent the yuan to its strongest level against the dollar for the year, with the dollar-yuan pair at 6.4943 at yesterday’s market close. The pair traded higher on Tuesday, up 0.21 percent at 6.5081.

In Japan, the dollar-yen pair was flat at 114.58; last week, the pair had fallen to the 111-mark before recovering somewhat. A weaker yen is usually a positive for exporters because it increases their overseas profits when the cash is converted to the local currency. Major exporters such as Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and Sony traded mixed between up 0.62 percent and down 0.34 percent.

Shares in telecommunication and internet giant Softbank surged 14.25 percent after the company announced a share buy-back. Reuters reported that the buyback – equivalent to a 14 percent stake – was the biggest ever by the telecoms conglomerate.

Toshiba shares were up 8.36 percent after reports said the electronics maker was not considering withdrawing from personal computer (PC) production and selling its Hangzhou factory in China. Earlier, the Sankei newspaper in Japan had said the company was planning to pull out of PCs as it restructured its business following a massive accounting scandal.

Oil prices, which are languishing at multi-year lows, gained in Asian hours with Brent up 3.14 percent at $34.44, after gaining 2.07 percent overnight and extending last Friday’s 11 percent surge. U.S. crude futures rose 4.35 percent to $30.71 a barrel, after tacking on 1.09 percent overnight, when trade closed early due to a public holiday.

The gains were made on the back of news that ministers from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar, and Venezuela would hold a previously unpublicized meeting in Doha this week, which led to speculations of a possible global output deal.

But skepticism dominates among market watchers, after talk of possible production cuts from both OPEC and non-OPEC players over recent weeks came to naught.

Energy plays across the region were mostly higher with Santos gaining 2.48 percent, Oil Search up by 0.72 percent, Inpex up by 2.19 percent, and S-Oil adding 1.89 percent.

Shanghai gains 2%, Nikkei wavers as oil, China weigh – CNBC}