U.S. stock indices closed in the positive territory on Wednesday amid higher oil prices despite weak economic data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 53.21 points, or 0.3%, to 16,484.99 after an initial decline of about 250 points. The S&P 500 climbed 8.53 points, or 0.4%, to 1,929.30 (its financial sector was the only one that fell, down 0.2%). The Nasdaq Composite gained 39.02 points, or 0.9%, to 4,542.61.
Financial stocks have been the worst performers among S&P's sectors in 2016. Financial companies suffered because of concerns over the health of the U.S. economy and prospects of low interest rates for a longer period of time.
Meanwhile a preliminary report on activity in the services sector of the U.S. economy showed contraction. The preliminary Services PMI fell to 49.8 in February from 53.2 in January, while economists had expected a modest increase to 53.5. Many analysts said that a recession in the manufacturing sector might have spread to the services sector.
This morning in Asia Hong Kong Hang Seng fell 1.15%, or 221.16 points, to 18,971.29. China Shanghai Composite Index dropped 3.73%, or 109.12 points, to 2,819.78. Meanwhile the Nikkei rose 1.64%, or 260.56 points, to 16,176.35.
Asian stock indices traded mixed. Japanese stocks rose following gains in U.S. equities.
Chinese stocks dropped on persistent concerns over the country's economy. Investors may also be concerned that representatives of leading economies may agree on some policy moves that could impact financial markets. The G20 meeting will be held in Shanghai on Friday and Saturday. Slumping oil prices also keep investors cautious.