Asian stocks were mostly higher early Monday after oil prices rebounded last week, boosting energy companies and their suppliers around the world. Markets in Australia and New Zealand are closed, and in Britain will be closed, for the Boxing Day holiday.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.4 percent after a report on Friday showed that inflation accelerated slightly in November. Singapore's STI was up 0.5 percent. South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.3 percent, while Shanghai was little changed.
In the U.S. on Thursday, the last trading day there before the Christmas weekend, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3 percent and the S&P 500 0.2 percent . The Nasdaq Composite was little changed. Also on Thursday, oil touched $38 per barrel after falling below $36 per barrel, an 11-year low, earlier in the week.
“Since oil appears to be recovering a little, it’s possible that related equities will be bought,” said Shoji Hirakawa, chief equity strategist at Okasan Securities Co. in Tokyo, as reported by Bloomberg. “We don’t have a lot of factors to move on.”
Japan's core inflation rose 0.1 percent in November, Friday's report showed, the first acceleration in five months. The government and the Bank of Japan have been trying to boost inflation to prod businesses and consumers to make purchases, fueling economic growth.
In Japan on Monday, gainers were led by consumer electronics companies Sharp, Pioneer and Toshiba, up by 6, 4 and 3 percent respectively.