HONG KONG (AP) — Asian share benchmarks were mixed on Thursday as investors digested the latest quarterly corporate earnings.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.5 percent to 22,315.79 and South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.3 percent to 2,481.70 after Samsung reported better than expected earnings. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.7 percent to 30,108.64 and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China lost 0.9 percent to 3,089.21. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.1 percent to 5,218.70. Markets in Southeast Asia were lower.
EARNINGS: South Korea’s Samsung Electronics reported its net income grew 52 percent in the first quarter on robust demand for its memory chips. Earlier, U.S. companies reported strong numbers, with aerospace company Boeing and railroad operator Norfolk Southern both topping Wall Street’s estimates in the first quarter while payment processing giant Visa posted a sharp jump in profits for the period.
YIELDS: Rising interest rates for U.S. Treasurys remained on investors’ minds, with the yield on the 10-year note hovering at a four-year high as it climbed to 3.03 percent from 3 percent. There were worries that markets would be rattled when the yield crossed the 3 percent threshold because it might cause the Federal Reserve to alter its outlook for interest rates but they now appear to be unfounded. Higher rates, which are rising on expectations of stronger U.S. economic growth and inflation, are also helping shore up the dollar.
QUOTEWORTHY: “The market has sort of oversold their equity hand, I think the 3 percent got overplayed,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asian trading at OANDA.
WALL STREET: Major U.S. benchmarks had a mixed finish. The S&P 500 index added 0.2 percent to 2,639.40. The Dow rose 0.2 percent to 24,083.83. The Nasdaq composite dipped 0.1 percent to 7,003.74.
ENERGY: Oil futures extended gains. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 30 cents to $68.35 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 35 cents to settle at $68.05 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 42 cents to $74.42 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 109.33 yen from 109.43 yen. The euro rose to $1.2175 from $1.2162.