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Overnight Markets: Oil prices lift Wall Street

Chevron jumped 4.6% and gave the biggest boost to the energy sector.

 
Overnight Markets: Oil prices lift Wall Street

US stocks gained on Wednesday, as the major indices continued to move in lockstep with the recent surge in the price of oil and energy sector shares

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 36 points, or 0.21%, to 17,000, the S&P 500 gained 10 points, or 0.51%, to 1,989 and the Nasdaq Composite added 26 points, or 0.55%, to 4,674.

Energy shares advanced after crude oil rose nearly 5%. Chevron (CVX.N) jumped 4.6% and gave the biggest boost to the energy sector. Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) surged 7.67% after the Oklahoma-based oil & gas company more than doubled over the last week.

In a week with a thin economic data calendar, investors will turn to the European Central Bank, which is expected to further ease monetary policy on Thursday.

Biotechnology stocks came under pressure a day after the US government proposed a test programme that would lower incentives to use higher-priced drugs when alternative treatments are available.

The Nasdaq Biotechnology sector fell 1.2% with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN.O) down 5.1% as the largest decliner on the Nasdaq 100. Shares in Amgen Inc (NASDAQ:AMGN), Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:VRTX) and Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) all lost more than 2%.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG.N) lost 3.4%. Already reeling from several food-borne illnesses, the company temporarily shut a Massachusetts restaurant after four employees fell sick.

Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) fell 2.47% as the world's largest athletic apparel company continues to deny corruption allegations involving the Kenyan Athletics Foundation.

Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL) added 4.02% after the Netherlands-based pharmaceutical company received a wave of upgrades from a number of prominent brokerages a day earlier.

In Asia, most shares rebounded on Thursday in morning trade, but Shanghai composite index in China declined.   

The Japanese Nikkei 225 was up 1.11% in morning trade. South Korea's Kospi added 0.57%, while Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 wavered between positive and negative, before trading up 0.26%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 0.7% percent.

Chinese markets were mixed, with the Shanghai composite down 0.57% and the Shenzhen composite flat.

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