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Nikkei Markets

Asian equities jump as crude oil rebound lifts energy stocks

ComfortDelGro rises after announcing UK acquisition

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian stocks outside of Japan advanced Tuesday as crude oil prices rose and investors bet on more stimulus measures from central banks in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus.

The Nikkei Asia300 index added 1.1% to close at 1,241.36 after tumbling 5% on Monday.

Energy producers listed in Asia advanced after sliding in the previous session, with Hong Kong-listed CNOOC and PetroChina adding 3% and 2.6%, respectively. Sapura Energy advanced 4.8% in Kuala Lumpur following a 34% plunge the day before. Brent crude futures were up 4.9% after sliding 24% on Monday.

Meanwhile, investors awaited more indications from central banks across the world for monetary support as the global economy weathers the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The new coronavirus, which originated in central China's Wuhan late last year, has spread to more than 60 countries, with cases in Italy and the U.S. rising in recent days.

"The spread of the novel coronavirus on an international scale has caused sharp corrections in equity markets," Michael Strobaek, the global chief investment officer at Credit Suisse, wrote in a note. "While the sharp rise in volatility suggests that markets are moving toward panic mode, we believe it is still too early to see current market dislocations as a trading opportunity."

ComfortDelGro Corp. added 3.3% after the company, which operates buses, taxis, and other land transport services, said it is buying Liverpool's third-largest taxi and private hire operator for 7 million pounds ($9.2 million) in a bid to expand its operations in the U.K.

The purchase of Argyle Satellite Ltd and Argyle Satellite Contract Services Ltd, collectively known as AST, will add 700 self-employed drivers and about 200 active corporate accounts to ComfortDelGro's taxi operations in Liverpool.

Singapore Airlines rose 3.7%. On Tuesday, the carrier said it is cutting additional capacity due to the coronavirus outbreak between February and the end of May.

Guangzhou Automobile Group added 2% despite reporting an 81.1% plunge in February sales volume.

Quanta Computer shares ended little changed in Taipei even as the company reported a 21.7% drop in February sales.

--Suzannah Benjamin

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