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Asian stocks rise thanks to Wall Street rally


People wearing face masks walk past a bank’s electronic board showing the Hong Kong stock index in Hong Kong, Monday, April 25, 2022. Asian stocks fell on Monday after U.S. stocks ended last week on a fall as global market expectations for higher interest rates continued to set the tone. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)


Asian stocks were mostly higher on Tuesday after U.S. stocks turned from steep losses to post solid gains.

Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul and Shanghai advanced while Sydney declined. Oil prices rose and US futures also rose.

South Korea reported that its economy grew at an annual rate of 3.1% in the first quarter of the year, up 0.7% from the previous quarter, suggesting a rebound from the difficulties of the pandemic. .

The government recently lifted most COVID restrictions as case numbers declined after a surge of the omicron variant.

“This should lead to a rebound in downtrodden parts of the service sector. And a further decline in precautionary savings should provide an additional boost to consumption,” Alex Holmes of Capital Economics said in a commentary. “With private consumption still well below pre-pandemic levels, there’s plenty of room for a rebound,” he said.

The Kospi in Seoul gained 0.7% to 2,675.21. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.5% to 26,726.65 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.2% to 20,112.90. The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.5% to 2,943.22.

WE. benchmark oil gained 60 cents to $99.14 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost $3.53 to $98.54 on Monday.

Brent crude, the international oil pricing standard, gained 77 cents to $102.93 a barrel.

The dollar slipped to 127.75 Japanese yen from 128.14 yen late Monday. The euro fell from $1.0713 to $1.0730.

On Monday, the S&P 500 climbed 0.6% to 4,296.12 after erasing an early 1.7% loss. The rally was led by shares of internet-related companies, including Twitter, which jumped 5.7% after agreeing to let Tesla CEO and tweeter extraordinaire Elon Musk buy it.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.7% to 34,049.46, while the Nasdaq composite rose 1.3% to 13,004.85.

The S&P 500 is coming off a three-week losing streak, plagued by concerns over the Federal Reserve’s plans to accelerate interest rate hikes to rein in high inflation.

Gains in several large tech-related stocks were the strongest forces to lift the S&P 500 on Monday, including a 2.4% gain for Microsoft and a 2.9% rise for Class A shares of the Google’s parent company, Alphabet.

Both are expected to release their latest quarterly results on Tuesday.

Wall Street is in the midst of one of the most important periods of earnings season. Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and parent company Google are all on deck to report this week. As they are among the largest companies by market value, their movements have the most influence on the S&P 500.

The week started on a pessimistic note, particularly in China, over fears that strict lockdown measures there could further undermine the world’s second-largest economy, which could hurt global economic growth. Shanghai shares fell 5.1% on Monday, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 3.7%.

China’s capital, Beijing, has started mass testing of more than 3 million people and restricted residents of part of the city to their compounds, raising concerns about a wider lockdown similar to Shanghai. This city has been closed for more than two weeks and this has already prompted the International Monetary Fund to revise downwards its growth forecasts for the Chinese economy.

Concerns are also high about a sharp slowdown in the US economy or even a recession due to the large interest rate hikes the Fed is expected to impose.

Besides their bottom line, investors are also looking for a better view of how big companies in technology, manufacturing and retail are handling rising inflation and supply chain issues. .

Inflation remains a major concern for investors. Investors are worried about whether the Fed will be able to raise rates enough to curb inflation, but not enough to cause a recession. The Federal Reserve Chairman indicated that the central bank may raise short-term interest rates to double the usual amount at upcoming meetings, starting next week. The Fed has already raised its overnight rate once, the first such hike since 2018.

Wall Street will also receive key economic data this week. The Conference Board will release its consumer confidence measure for April on Tuesday. The Commerce Department will release its first-quarter gross domestic product report on Thursday.