Asian stock markets follow Wall Street higher

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher on Tuesday as strong corporate profits helped to defuse fears over U.S.-China trade tensions.

KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.7 percent to 2,751.60 and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 added 0.7 percent to 22,662.74. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.1 percent to 28,133.97 and South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.5 percent to 2,297,41. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 lost 0.4 percent to 6,248.70. Taiwan and New Zealand retreated. Singapore gained while other Southeast Asian markets declined.

WALL STREET: U.S. stocks finished broadly higher for a third day on gains for media, retail and technology companies. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway led gains for the financial sector. Investors focused on quarterly results instead of escalating U.S. and Chinese trade threats. Company profits have rocketed higher this year thanks to the corporate tax cut and economic growth. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.2 percent to 25,502.18 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 0.4 percent to 2,850.40. The Nasdaq picked up 0.6 percent to 7,859.68.

ANALYST’S TAKE: “Highly impressive US corporate earnings, it seems, are inspiring the bulls at present and with no one prepared to act aggressively on the macro news flow, micro factors are supporting. But for how much longer?” Chris Weston of Pepperstone Group said in a commentary. But he pointed to some wider concerns that could cause volatility. “The most prominent of these is the trade dispute between the US and China, and this will become a more pressing market issue in the next two months in my opinion,” he said.

IRAN NUCLEAR: The Trump administration re-imposed U.S. economic sanctions on Iran despite opposition by European allies who want to preserve an agreement to limit Iranian nuclear activity. President Donald Trump complained the 2015 deal left Tehran flush with cash to fuel conflict in the Middle East. European allies said they “deeply regret” the U.S. action.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 17 cents to $69.18 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 52 cents on Monday to $69.01. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 21 cents to $73.96 per barrel in London. It advanced 54 cents the previous session to $73.75.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 111.33 yen from Monday’s 111.40 yen. The euro gained to $1.1558 from $1.1554.


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