Asian stocks generally higher after further gains on Wall St – Action News Jax
BANGKOK — (AP) — Asian stocks were mostly higher on Friday after another day of gains on Wall Street amid a deluge of news on the economy, interest rates and corporate earnings.
Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney advanced while Seoul and Shanghai declined. US futures fell slightly as oil prices rose.
Japan reported that its inflation rose at a slower pace in June, with food prices rising 6.5% year-on-year from 12.3% in May and rising energy costs falling to 16.5% versus 20.8%. Core inflation excluding volatile energy and food prices rose to 2.6% from 2.2% the previous month.
The Bank of Japan has indicated that, unlike the Federal Reserve and other central banks, it does not intend to raise its benchmark interest rate by minus 0.1% to counter the trend given that wages do not increase at the same time as prices, which limits consumer demand.
A preliminary reading on factory activity in Japan showed production and new orders contracting to their worst levels in months. Companies blamed raw material shortages and rising costs.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index gained 0.4% to 27,924.97 while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong edged up 0.1% to 20,598.98. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.2% to 6,807.10.
In South Korea, the Kospi fell 0.3% to 2,402.72. The Shanghai Composite lost 0.3% to 3,261.12.
Much of the focus this week has been on Europe. The European Central Bank chose, as expected, to raise its key rate on Thursday, ending a year-long experiment with negative interest rates. This is its first increase in 11 years.
A key pipeline carrying Russian natural gas to the region has reopened, albeit at 40% capacity, as concerns persisted that Moscow could restrict supplies to punish Ukraine’s allies. In Italy, Prime Minister Mario Draghi resigned after the collapse of his ruling coalition. This adds more uncertainty as Europe faces war in Ukraine, high inflation and the risk of trouble in European bond markets.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 climbed 1% to 3,998.95 on Thursday, returning to its highest level in six weeks. The Dow rose 0.5% to 32,036.90 and the Nasdaq rose 1.4% to 12,059.61.
The Russell 2000 gained 0.5% to 1,836.69.
Stocks briefly lost ground after President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID.
The Federal Reserve is expected to raise rates next week for the fourth time this year, once again trying to reduce high inflation without dragging the economy into a recession.
Parts of the US economy have already begun to soften.
The number of workers applying for unemployment benefits last week was the highest in eight months, although it remains relatively low. A separate report on Thursday showed manufacturing in the mid-Atlantic region weakened much more than economists had expected.
Strong earnings from large US corporations led to gains on Wall Street this week.
Tesla climbed 9.8% in the first trading session after the electric vehicle maker announced spring results that were better than analysts expected. It was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500.
Steelmaker Nucor jumped 9.1% after its results beat forecasts. Philip Morris International, the tobacco company, rose 4.2% after reporting a higher-than-expected profit.
United Airlines fell 10.2% after its profits and revenue fell short of expectations. It also scaled back its growth plans later this year. American Airlines fell 7.4% after reporting weaker-than-expected profits, although its revenue beat forecasts.
AT&T fell 7.6% even though it posted better earnings and revenue than Wall Street forecasts. It has reduced its forecast for the amount of cash it will generate this year.
Shares of energy companies also fell, with the price of US crude oil falling 3.5%.
Early Friday, benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 85 cents to $97.20 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent crude, the pricing basis for international trade, advanced 75 cents to $100.23 a barrel.
In currency trading, the US dollar bought 137.77 Japanese yen, down from 137.41 on Thursday night. The euro slipped to $1.0184 from $1.0230.
AP Business Writers Stan Choe and Alex Veiga contributed.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.