Chinese energy producers soar after record snows, Asian banks dip

In Asia Thursday, China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.5% to 3,321. In Hong Kong and Tokyo, the major indexes fell with the Hang Seng shedding 0.9% to close at 22,643 and the Nikkei losing 1.3% to end the day at 9,549.

In China, shares in energy producers surged as the country plowed itself out from under heavy snow and the national Heating Office was forced to turn household heating on a full two weeks before the normally scheduled date due to extremely low temperatures. The added demand for fuel and electricity sent shares of Changchun Gas and Shaan Xi Provincial Natural Gas soaring to the 10 percent daily limit for a second day in a row. Huaneng Power International (HUNWF) rose 1.8% and oil producing giant PetroChina (PTR) rose 1.1%.