In Asia Wednesday Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed 1.1% to close at 23,157 and China's Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.9% to 2,924. In Japan the Nikkei 225 Index edged up 0.6% to end the day at 10,808.

Investors brushed aside worries over continuously rising Chinese inflation today, focusing instead on bargain shopping. Energy companies were a major attraction as oil prices surged. The uneasiness in the Middle East, coupled with China's inflation rate, has analysts betting that the price of fuel will go up. And so far, that's certainly reflected in the price at the pump where gasbuddy.com reports that gas costs an average of $3.12 at stations across the U.S., a 53-cent hike from prices seen a year ago. In Europe, where drivers can easily pay a scary $8 or more per gallon, prices are also going up.

In Hong Kong, shares in oil company Cnooc were snapped up after yesterday's fall in prices, sending the stock up 1.9%. Sinopec rallied 2%. Other energy companies also rose with China Shenhua gaining 1.1% and China Coal up 0.4%.

Insurers fared well with China Life scoring a 2.2% gain, and banks rose as investors searched for bargains after yesterday's declines. HSBC surged 1.6%, Bank of China advanced 1.5% and Bank of Communications climbed 1.3%.

Hong Kong real estate firms performed well with Cheung Kong soaring 2.9%, Henderson Land rising 1.3% and Hang Lung advancing 0.8%, despite fears of further restrictions in the Chinese property market.

BYD was among today's losers, dropping 2.5% after reporting disappointing January sales. Other car companies also retreated with Great Wall Motor sinking 2.4%, Geely losing 1.6% and Dongfeng Motor off 2.1%.

In China steelmakers joined forces to increase steel prices, according to People's Daily. The paper reports that Baoshan Iron & Steel and Wuhan Iron & Steel will institute price hikes, and today shares in both companies closed higher. Baoshan leaped 2.8% and Wuhan jumped 1.6%.

Automotive companies made headway in China after the country's vehicle sales are reported to have soared 40% in 2010, making it a $51.8 billion industry. Today Beiqi Foton Motor zipped up 4.3% and FAW Car Co. rose 1.6%.

Real estate firms suffered losses thanks to uncertainty over bank interest rates. Poly Real Estate slid 1.2%, and Gemdale dipped 0.4%. But Bloomberg reports that China Vanke, which lost 0.6% today, isn't too worried, having scored a record $3 billion in January revenue -- a three-fold increase in month-on-month figures.

In Japan positive predictions about the state of the nation's economy from analysts at Nomura boosted shares in financials. Resona Holdings rallied 5.4%, Sumitomo Mitsui surged 2.3% and Mizuho Financial Group advanced 1.8%.

Today's lower yen was a boon to Japanese exporters and helped game-making firms push ahead. Nintendo, of Wii fame, rocketed up 4.3% and Sony, the maker of the PS3 shot up 2.6%. Arcade game producer Konami edged up 0.5%. Among camera makers, Konica Minolta headed up 2.4%, Olympus added 1% and Canon advanced 0.8% while other electronics makers also surged. Pioneer rose 3.1% and Sharp gained 2.9%.


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bam2microa

Write and call your representatives in congress every day to demand that oil and nat gas be removed from the CFT Board. Don't let up until they do.

February 17 2011 at 1:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bam2microa's comment
johnskii

OBAMA, REID and PELOSI OH NO! Why wasn't any legislation past to control the oil lobby,speculators,companies, etc. while you had complete control of power for TWO FULL YEARS? LIONS , TIGERS and BEARS OH NO!

February 16 2011 at 9:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
donnareed4

Ok someone explain to me how $84 a barrels ='s 3 and 4$ a gallon of gas? Today I was talking to a gentleman who is so scared cause his social security barely covers his bills n food costs, who watches the price of gas go from 2.88 to 3.19 in an hour(Indiana). Who watches water rates take a 26% increase. parking rates going up and social security has had no increases in 2 years!! 3500 people are going to get their gas turned off cause they can't pay their bills. I mean really are the blood ******* jackels that ready for another 2008? I know one thing for sure I am sick n tired of washington bailing out the rich and famous only so they can get richer and richer. Washinton congressman sleeping in their offices cause on their measly 174,000 a year can't afford duel homes. But yet the poor American barely making 30,000 is supposed to pay $4 a gallon for gas? 35% increase in food? I know as Americans we are idiots when it comes to spending on electronic gadgets but not everyone does so!! So i say stop buying them big a** trucks, SUVs and buy the smaller cars and finally do something your mouth just complains about!!! BOYCOTT BOYCOTT high gas prices. Stop it now or 2011 will be depression not a recession!!!!!!!!!!

February 16 2011 at 9:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GAYLEN

Just think how the market is control by the big Banks and the Big Hedge funds.

February 16 2011 at 9:05 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply