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Asian stock markets rise as oil passes $50 a barrel

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(BBC) Asian share markets were higher as oil prices rose above $50 a barrel on speculation major producers are going to reduce output.

Crude prices have risen more than 20% since early August, meaning oil has swung back into a bull market.

 

Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.4% to close at 16,545.82 while the broader Topix also increased 0.4% to 1,295.67.

 

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.34% higher at 5,526.70 while New Zealand’s NZX 50 gained 0.3% to 7,405.25.

 

South Korea’s Kospi index closed flat at 2,056.24.

 

Shares in Samsung rose a further 2% having hit a record in the previous trading session. The world’s largest smartphone maker saw its market value cross the $200bn mark on Thursday, making it five times more valuable than Japan’s Sony.

 

In Greater China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng reversed early gains to close 0.4% lower at 22,937.22, while the Shanghai Composite was little changed and closed flat at 3,108.10.

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