Asian shares advance following rebound on Wall Street

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People wearing face masks walk past a bank electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Shares advanced in Asia early Tuesday after Wall Street shook off a weak start and ended with modest gains thanks to another solid showing from big technology companies. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

BANGKOK – Shares advanced in Asia early Tuesday after Wall Street shook off a weak start and ended with modest gains thanks to another solid showing from big technology companies.

Shares rose in Hong Kong, Sydney and Singapore. Markets in Shanghai and Tokyo were closed for a holiday.

Wall Street shook off a weak start and ended with modest gains Monday, thanks to another solid showing from big technology companies.

A recovery in oil prices was helping drive gains in Asia on Tuesday as the U.S. benchmark added $1.50, or more than 6%, to $21.89 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It climbed 61 cents on Monday to $20.39.

Brent crude, the standard for international pricing, picked up $1.30 to $28.50 per barrel.

“The feeling on the floor is that energy is in a better spot, and while it’s not brilliant, the supply/demand equation is starting to shift in a more positive direction," Chris Weston of Pepperstone said in a report.

Oil prices had collapsed as demand plummeted amid business shutdowns and travel restrictions due to the pandemic. At one point, U.S. benchmark crude was priced so low that producers would have been paying customers to take the oil away.

The glut of oil threatened to exceed storage capacity. But the lifting of lockdowns and other restrictions to contain outbreaks of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, at least in some places, has raised hopes for at least some recovery in demand.