Stock markets rose yesterday across Europe as lower oil prices pushed automaker and transport companies higher, while European clothing...
LONDON — Stock markets rose yesterday across Europe as lower oil prices pushed automaker and transport companies higher, while European clothing retailers benefited from a European Union deal that will free up Chinese textile imports.
In Asia, the Japanese market bucked a generally lower trend to close on a four-year high.
U.S. markets were closed yesterday because of the Labor Day holiday.
In London, the FTSE 100 was up 0.2 percent to close at 5,338 points, while in Frankfurt, the DAX Index rose 6.4 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,623.51. Paris’ CAC-40 rose 1.5 percent to 4,909.89.
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A decline in Brent crude-oil prices to their lowest level since Hurricane Katrina hit the U.S. Gulf Coast provided a boost for many stocks, particularly car makers and transport.
October-dated Brent crude-oil futures fell to $64.68 a barrel in London, from $66.02 Friday, after the International Energy Agency said late Friday that it is going to make available 2 million barrels of oil a day for at least 30 days. The Nymex light sweet crude-oil contract was not trading yesterday.
Half of the Gulf Coast refineries damaged by Hurricane Katrina are working to ramp up production this week. Almost 70 percent of normal oil production and half of the natural-gas output remains shut down, according to the U.S. Minerals Management Service, which said activity is slowly recovering.
Eight major refineries that produce gasoline, diesel and jet fuel and heating oil were knocked out of commission and the output at two others was cut by last week’s hurricane and the flooding that followed. That cut overall U.S. refining capacity by more than 10 percent and contributed to a surge in retail gasoline prices and spot shortages around the country.
Motiva Enterprises, Marathon Oil and Valero Energy said they hope to restart, and in some cases make fully operational, four of those refineries this week.
Motiva, a joint venture of Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Saudi Refining, said its Convent, La., refinery restarted on Sunday and its refinery in Norco, La., is expected to get started by midweek. Both are located west of New Orleans.
Marathon said over the weekend that its Garyville, La., refinery west of New Orleans should be fully operational early this week. Valero said it’s still hoping to restart this week its St. Charles refinery about 15 miles from New Orleans.
Chevron said yesterday that its Pascagoula, Miss., refinery did not suffer catastrophic damage. But Chevron said no restart estimate was available. It said it was still assessing damage as it worked to find employees dislocated by Katrina’s fury.
Clothing retailers were stronger as the European Union and China agreed to a deal that will unblock Chinese textile imports held at European borders. The deal, which still requires approval by the 25-nation EU, would release about 75 million Chinese-made sweaters and other garments held at European ports after they reached import limits agreed to in June by China and the EU.
In Asia, most markets closed lower, but Japan went against the trend, closing at a four-year high on positive data showing an increase in capital spending.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 Index gained 34.88 points, or 0.28 percent, to close at 12,634.88, marking its highest close since July 3, 2001.
Steel stocks such as Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Industries gained on new data showing that Japan’s capital spending increased 7.3 percent on year in the April-June quarter. Stocks with close ties to the domestic economy, such as construction company Taisei and Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group, also gained.
In Hong Kong, stocks ended flat, with gains in property stocks ahead of a land auction later this month offsetting losses in export-focused shoemaker Yue Yuen (Industrial) Holdings.
The blue-chip Hang Seng Index rose 5.94 points, or 0.04 percent, to 15,227.83.
In Sydney, Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index fell 18.3 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,455.4.
China’s shares ended higher for a fourth straight session.