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 January 12, 2016 - 4:36 PM EST
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Asia shares rise on improved China exports

TOKYO
(AP) — Shares rose Wednesday in
Asia
after
China
reported improved exports in December, though a rally in
Shanghai
shares was short-lived. Investors also were cheered by gains on Wall Street that snapped a losing streak, including an eight-day slump for the Nasdaq composite.

KEEPING SCORE:

Japan's
Nikkei 225 stock index jumped 2.9 percent to 17,715.63 and
Hong Kong's
Hang Seng was up 2.5 percent to 20,199.26.
South Korea's
Kospi added 1.3 percent to 1,916.28. The Shanghai Composite yoyo'd in and out of negative territory and by mid-afternoon sank 2.4 percent to 2,949.60.
Australia's
S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.3 percent to 4,975.60. Shares in
New Zealand
and
Southeast Asia
were mostly higher.
CHINA
TURMOIL: After a tumultuous start to the year for Chinese stocks and the yuan, both those markets showed tentative stability as the government moved to control fluctuations in the yuan. Global markets were rattled by steep falls in Chinese stocks and a bigger than usual drop in the tightly controlled yuan, gyrations that some analysts see as evidence officials were having difficulty managing the slowdown in the world's No. 2 economy.

OIL PRICES: Crude oil prices tumbled overnight but bounced higher Wednesday in

Asia
. While the supply and demand factors that have driven prices nearly 18 percent lower this year are a concern, and are hurting exporters and energy company shares, lower oil and gas costs are a boon for many resource-scarce Asian economies.
CHINA
DATA:
China's
exports rose 2.3 percent in December from a year earlier in yuan terms, reversing a 3.7 percent drop in November, the Finance Ministry reported Wednesday. Exports were down in dollar terms but the decrease was smaller than November's. The data suggest a weakening in the yuan may be helping boost demand for Chinese products, providing welcome support for the slowing economy.

THE QUOTE: "

Asia
markets are starting to sense that a short-term upside move could be on the cards," Chris Weston of IG said in a commentary. "Good trade data from
China
has also caused a second wave of buying, so watch copper prices through European trade to give some real backbone to the equity rally."

WALL STREET: Shares were lower for most of the day but then regained lost ground in the last hour of trading. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 117.65 points, or 0.7 percent, to 16,516.22. The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 15.01 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,938.68. The Nasdaq composite climbed 47.93 points, or 1 percent, to 4,685.92.

ENERGY:

U.S.
crude oil rose 36 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $30.80 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Tuesday, it lost 97 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $30.44 a barrel in
New York
. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, rose 14 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $31.09. It fell 69 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $30.86 a barrel in
London
.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 118.16 yen from 117.89 yen in the previous trading session. The euro fell to $1.0825 from $1.0834.

Follow Elaine Kurtenbach: twitter.com/ekurtenbach

Her work can be found at: bigstory.ap.org/content/elaine-kurtenbach

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Source: Equities.com News (January 12, 2016 - 4:36 PM EST)

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