TOKYO (AP) -- Asian shares rose modestly on Tuesday, shrugging off early losses, though worries over China's slowdown and tumbling oil prices are overshadowing thin year-end trading.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index rose 0.5 percent to 18,970.43 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.3 percent to 21,990.99. South Korea's Kospi was 0.1 percent higher at 1,965.81 and the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2 percent to 3,539.87. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.0 percent to5,259.00. Shares in New Zealand were higher, Taiwan fell and Southeast Asian shares were mixed.
THE QUOTE: "Asian markets have looked past the wobble in oil prices and Chinese data yesterday to push tentatively into the green," Angus Nicholson of IG said in a market note. "However, volumes are very low throughout the region, even lower than the pre-Christmas trade last week, so it is difficult to read too much into them."
OIL SUPPLY WORRIES: Oil prices rebounded slightly Tuesday after falling over 3 percent on Monday in New York amid reports that Iran intends to increase exports by 500,000 barrels per day once economic sanctions are removed. That would add to excess global supplies that have been sapping oil prices.
WALL STREET: U.S. stocks closed modestly lower on Monday as a deepening slump in crude oil prices pulled down energy and mining stocks on a lighter than usual day of trading. The Dow lost 23.90 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,528.27. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 4.49 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,056.50. The Nasdaq composite shed 7.51 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,040.99.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 4 cents to $36.85 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell $1.29, or 3.4 percent, to close at $36.81 per barrel on Monday. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, also gained 4 cents, to $36.66 a barrel. On Monday, it lost $1.27, or 3.4 percent, to close at $36.62 per barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar was slightly higher at 120.32 yen, up from 120.26 on Monday. The euro slipped to $1.0976 from $1.0985 in the previous session.
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