Asian Stocks Majority Higher After Tech-Induced Rebound on Wall St | Economic news
By ELAINE KURTENBACH, AP Business Writer
Stocks were mostly higher in Asia on Friday after a rally on Wall Street led by tech companies.
U.S. futures and oil prices were mixed as investors awaited signals on China’s economic policy from a meeting of the ruling Communist Party’s mighty Politburo.
Analysts said the meeting, scheduled for Friday, would likely focus on ways to spur growth as leaders try to counter concerns about how shutdowns to curb coronavirus outbreaks are affecting the world’s second-largest economy due disruptions to shipping, manufacturing and other business activities.
The “Politburo will be focused on spreading good cheer in Asian markets, so expect China to show a more growth-friendly policy tone in terms of COVID restrictions, housing market, housing regulations, etc. ‘Internet and consumer stimulus,’ Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a commentary.
The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3% to 2,983.11 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped 0.4% to 20,203.97.
Tokyo was closed for a public holiday, the first of several in Japan’s upcoming “Golden Week”.
In Seoul, the Kospi gained 0.6% to 2,683.61, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.8% to 7,415.50.
The benchmark U.S. crude oil price fell 5 cents to $105.31 a barrel. It jumped $3.34 to 105.36 a barrel on Thursday.
Brent crude, the pricing basis for international oils, gained 22 cents to $107.48.
After hours Thursday, SEC filings showed Elon Musk had sold 4.4 million Tesla shares worth about $4 billion, likely to help fund his purchase of Twitter.
Shares of Tesla closed slightly lower on Thursday at $877.51. They are down 17% since the start of the year.
Wall Street’s major stock indexes posted their biggest gains in more than six weeks on Thursday, as tech companies clawed back some of the ground they had recently lost.
The S&P 500 rose 2.5% to 4,287.50 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.8% to 33,916.39. The Nasdaq gained 3.1% to 12,871.53.
Stocks of small companies also rallied. The Russell 2000 rose 1.8% to 1,917.94.
It’s been a hectic week as investors eye a big batch of corporate earnings from big tech companies, industrial companies and retailers.
Big tech and communications companies have been driving much of the swings in the broader market as their expensive stock values carry more weight.
Apple rose 4.5% in regular trading. It rose another 2.3% after hours trading after announcing stronger-than-expected results and increasing its dividend and stock buyback program.
Chipmaker Qualcomm jumped 9.7% after easily beating Wall Street earnings estimates. Facebook’s parent company Meta jumped 17.6%, the biggest rise among S&P 500 stocks, after beating Wall Street’s first-quarter profit forecast and reporting an encouraging surge in users dailies.
Encouraging financial reports helped support the gains of several other large companies. McDonald’s rose 2.9% after a strong earnings update. Southwest Airlines rose 2.1% after reporting strong revenue and telling investors it expects a profitable year as travel demand returns with the pandemic subsiding.
Amazon rose 4.7% in regular trading but fell 10.5% in after-hours trading after the online retail giant reported its first quarterly loss since 2015. company reported a drop in sales and a huge depreciation of its investment in an electric vehicle startup. .
Corporate bulletins hit the market as Wall Street studies how inflation affects businesses and consumer spending.
Supply chain issues have hampered business operations in many industries throughout the post-pandemic recovery and Russia’s war on Ukraine has compounded energy and major food price increases .
The US Federal Reserve is expected to hike rates aggressively as it steps up its fight against inflation. The Fed Chairman indicated that the central bank may raise short-term interest rates to double the usual amount at upcoming meetings, starting next week. It has already raised its key overnight rate once, the first such hike since 2018.
The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the U.S. economy contracted in the last quarter for the first time since the pandemic recession hit two years ago. But the report showed consumers and businesses continued to spend, despite rising prices, suggesting demand is resilient.
Investors will receive another spending update on Friday, a barometer of the economy as everything from food to clothing and gasoline becomes more expensive, when the Commerce Department releases its earnings report and personal expenses for March.
AP Business Writers Damian J. Troise and Alex Veiga contributed.
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