Asian stocks press higher after Wall St record

BEIJING (AP) – Asian stock markets were mostly higher on Friday after Wall Street reached a record and Japanese inflation declined.

Market benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo and Sydney have progressed. Hong Kong has declined.

Wall Street’s S&P 500 benchmark index rose 0.3%, putting it on track for a weekly gain.

Investors are shifting focus from corporate income to the longer-term outlook for global economies and whether central banks could feel pressure to cool rising prices by reversing stimulus faster than planned.

Inflation is “currently the main focus area for the markets,” Fawad Razaqzada of ThinkMarkets said in a report.

On Friday, the Japanese government reported that October consumer inflation fell to 0.1% more than a year earlier from the previous month’s 0.2%.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.1% to 3,558.87 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 0.5% to 29,745.87. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong sank 1.3% to 24,982.55.

The Kospi in Seoul advanced 0.8% to 2,970.96 and Sydney S & P-ASX 200 added 0.2% to 7,396.50.

Indian markets were closed for a holiday. New Zealand, Singapore and Bangkok declined while Jakarta won.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose to 4,704.54 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.2% to 35,870.95. The Nasdaq compound gained 0.5% to 15,993.71.

Nvidia Corp. jumped 8.3% after the graphics chip maker for gaming and artificial intelligence reported strong results. Other chip makers also gained ground. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. rose 2.4% and Micron Technology Inc. rose 2.1%.

Macy’s Inc. increased 21.2% after the chain of stores beat profit forecasts.

Two-thirds of companies in the S&P 500 fell. Gains from large technology companies and retailers offset losses in other sectors as investors magnified the latest corporate earnings.

Also Thursday, the Labor Department said the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell for a seventh week to a pandemic low of 268,000.

U.S. equities have risen since early October as companies reported stronger profits than expected.

Companies in the S&P 500 reported an overall earnings growth of 39%. That surpasses previous forecasts in June for 23% growth for the quarter.

Companies face higher costs for raw materials and supply chain problems. Consumers have so far absorbed price increases, but analysts fear they could eventually curb spending if increases continue.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose 72 cents to $ 79.13 a barrel in e-commerce at the New York Trade Exchange. Brent oil, used as the price base for international oils, gained 79 cents to $ 82.03 a barrel in London.

The dollar rose to 114.33 yen from Thursday’s 114.27 yen. The euro declined to $ 1.1355 from $ 1.1370.

Joe Mcdonald, The Associated Press

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