Asian shares were mostly higher Friday after a moderate rise on Wall Street.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225
rose 1%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
added 0.7% in early trading, while South Korea’s Kospi
was up 0.9%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng
gained 1.3%, while the Shanghai Composite
edged up 0.4%.
Among individual stocks, Japan Steel
and SoftBank Group
rose in Tokyo. Tech stocks such as Samsung
and SK Hynix
jumped in Seoul, while Taiwan Semiconductor
gained in Taipei. Tech stocks also boosted the Hang Seng, with Sunny Optical
leading the way. Banks and energy companies led the way in Australia, with Beach Energy
and Westpac Banking
“Our view remains that shares will do better this year thanks to much improved valuations, likely policy support and a stabilization and improvement in global growth. But after a huge rebound since the December lows shares are vulnerable to a short term pull back/re-test of December lows in the face of a long worry list,” said Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP Capital.
Earlier, the S&P 500 index
rose 3.63 points, or 0.1%, to 2,642.33. The benchmark U.S. index is up 12.4% over the last month, but it has slipped 1.1% this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
dipped 22.38 points, or 0.1%, to 24,553.24. About two-thirds of the stocks on the New York Stock Exchange closed with gains, but major stock indexes didn’t move much. Positive earnings from chip makers the previous day helped fuel gains, but disappointing earnings from Intel
and Western Digital
on Thursday sent chip stocks down after hours.
The European Central Bank did not change its interest rates or its projection for when it might start raising them. European Central Bank head Mario Draghi said risks to the European economy are increasing and the bank is ready to “adjust all of its instruments” if it runs into serious trouble. The ECB is aiming to raise rates even though the European economy has cooled as countries including Germany have lost some strength.
U.S. crude oil
added 67 cents to $53.80 a barrel. It rose 1 percent to $53.13 per barrel in New York overnight. Brent crude
, used to price international oils, rose 69 cents to $61.78 per barrel in London.
edged up to 109.69 yen from 109.53 yen.
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