Asian stocks rebound following Wall Street rally

May 25, 2011 - 11:29 PM

HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stocks rebounded Thursday following gains on Wall Street that were led by commodity companies on higher oil prices. Japanese shares rose on a share buyback plan from Canon and layoff announcement by Ricoh.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 jumped 1.3 percent to 9,544.68 in morning trading. Office equipment maker Ricoh's stock surged 7.2 percent after it said it would slash 10,000 workers, or nearly 10 percent of its group work force, over the next three years in a bid to boost efficiency and profitability.

Shares in Canon rose 5.5 percent a day after the camera maker announced it would spend as much as 50 billion yen ($183 million) buying back up to 1.2 percent of its shares.

South Korea's Kospi leaped 1.3 percent to 2,061.75 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was 0.4 percent higher to 22,830.66. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was 1 percent higher at 4,629.90. Benchmarks in Taiwan and mainland China also rose.

The gains in Asia came after stocks in New York closed higher Wednesday as rising oil prices offset worries about the global economic recovery.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.3 percent to close at 12,394.66. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.3 percent to 1,320.47. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.6 percent to 2,761.38.

Benchmark crude for July delivery was up 49 cents to $101.82 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Thursday. The contract gained $1.73 to settle at $101.32 a barrel on Wednesday.

A weaker dollar helped oil prices gain. With oil priced in dollars, a weaker greenback makes crude more affordable for investors with foreign currency to spend.

In currencies, the euro rose to $1.4162 from $1.4082 in late trading Wednesday in New York. The dollar was lower at 81.87 yen from 81.99.

___

AP reporter Shino Yuasa contributed from Tokyo.