Asia markets mixed as oil prices boost energy stocks

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Stock markets in the Asia Pacific region were mixed on Thursday as energy stocks enjoyed a boost from improved crude prices.

In Sydney the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.7 per cent as energy stocks climbed 1.1 per cent. Shares in major banks were recovering from a drop brought on by a new levy announced on Tuesday night, with National Australia Bank up 1.1 per cent.

Tokyo’s Topix was off 0.1 per cent, with a 0.8 per cent drop from the real estate segment offseting gains of 0.7 per cent in telecoms stocks.

In Hong Kong the Hang Seng was up 0.4 per cent, with state-owned Chinese oil companies helping to drive the energy segment up 0.5 per cent.

Shares in commodities trader Noble Group fell as much as 16.2 per cent on Thursday ahead of the company’s afternoon release of its first quarter results. It had issued a profit warning on Tuesday predicting a loss of $130m in the first quarter due to a misplaced bet on coal prices. The FTSE Straits Times index was up 0.6 per cent.

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