Asian Stocks Meander as Samsung Plunges, Oil Falls Back

Asian shares meandered on Tuesday, as South Korea’s benchmark dropped after reports of fresh problems with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 phone.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.9 percent to 17,018.88. Tokyo markets were closed Monday for a national holiday. South Korea’s Kospi slipped 1 percent to 2,037.10. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.1 percent to 5,482.70. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.2 percent to 23,559.36, while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.4 percent to 3,059.55. Shares in Southeast Asia were mixed.

SAMSUNG WOES: Shares in Samsung Electronics fell 7 percent after the company said it was halting sales of its Note 7 smartphones. It advised customers to turn off their devices or replace them with different devices. Samsung issued a worldwide recall of the Note 7, a huge phone-bordering-on-tablet with a powerful battery, in September after finding the devices have a tendency to catch fire. South Korean officials said Tuesday that replacement devices have also overheated or caught fire.

WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average picked up 88.55 points, or 0.4 percent, to 18,329.04. The index rose as much as 159 points earlier. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 9.92 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,163.66. The Nasdaq composite added 36.27 points, or 0.7 percent, to 5,328.67.

OIL AND RUSSIA: Oil prices fell slightly after spiking to their highest level in a year after Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that Russia, which is not a member of OPEC, supports a preliminary agreement by OPEC nations to cut oil output.

THE QUOTE: “It was Russia to the rescue last night, as Vladimir Putin said Russia was ready to join with OPEC in creating a deal to curb production and pump up prices. At the same Energy Congress in Istanbul, the ever outspoken Algerian Energy Minister called on other non-OPEC producers to join them,” Jeff Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a commentary.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 8 cents to $51.27. It added $1.54 to $51.35 a barrel in New York on Monday, its highest closing price since July 2015. Brent crude, used to price international oils, slipped 8 cents to $53.06 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 103.96 yen from 102.96 yen late Monday in Asia. The euro fell to $ 1.1135 from $1.1192.