Asian stocks follow Wall St higher with China, Korea closed

Feb 1, 2022, 1:00 AM | Updated: 9:56 pm
People walk by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022. St...

People walk by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022. Stock prices in Tokyo and Sydney followed Wall Street higher Wednesday while China, South Korea and Southeast Asian markets were closed for the Lunar New Year. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

(AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

BEIJING (AP) — Stock prices in Tokyo and Sydney followed Wall Street higher Wednesday while China, South Korea and Southeast Asian markets were closed for the Lunar New Year.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index gained 0.7% on Tuesday, boosted by gains for energy and tech stocks in a late burst of buying.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 1.6% to 27,497.60 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 added 1.2% to 7,089.90.

New Zealand and Jakarta also gained.

New Zealand on Wednesday reported a record-low unemployment rate of 3.2%. Finance Minister Grant Robertson said it was an “extremely positive” result and evidence that businesses were continuing to hire people despite pandemic setbacks.

But political opponents claimed the real rate was about double the headline figure, which they said was was skewed because it didn’t count people who weren’t actively seeking work. The Statistics New Zealand figure was seasonally adjusted for the quarter ending December and was the lowest since current record-keeping began in 1986.

U.S. stocks are coming off their worst month since early in the pandemic nearly two years ago.

Investors are trying to figure out how the economy and corporate profits will be affected by upcoming Federal Reserve rate hikes, intended to cool inflation that has surged to a four-decade high.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 rose to 4,546.54. It is 5.2% below the Jan. 3 all-time high.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.8% to 35,405.24. The Nasdaq composite added 0.7% to 14,346.

Exxon Mobil rose 6.4% after the company reported strong fourth quarter profit. Hewlett Packard Enterprise rose 2.9%.

The virus pandemic is still a lingering threat and each new variant could bring a surge of cases that threatens businesses and consumer activity.

Fed officials said in mid-December plans to wind down bond purchases and other stimulus that is boosting prices would be accelerated to cool inflation.

Consumers have kept spending despite price rises, but forecasters retail purchases might weaken and crimp economic growth.

Investors expect the Fed to hike rates at least four times this year, starting in March.

On Friday, the Labor Department reports U.S. employment for January.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude gained 13 cents to $88.33 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 5 cents on Tuesday to $88.20. Brent crude, the price basis for international oils, added 18 cents to $89.34 per barrel in London. It fell 10 cents the previous session to $89.16.

The dollar edged up to 114.73 yen from Tuesday’s 114.71 yen. The euro rose to $1.1277 from $1.1254.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - A sign at the federal courthouse in Tacoma, Wash., is shown on April 6, 2016, to inform visi...
Associated Press

COVID’s lingering impact prompts Real ID deadline extension

The deadline for obtaining the Real ID needed to board a domestic flight has been pushed back again, with the Department of Homeland Security citing the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for the slower-than-expected rollout. The deadline to have a Real ID had been May 3, 2023, but DHS announced Monday that it was […]
18 hours ago
Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at a news conference about a jury's verdict against members...
Associated Press

Garland: Justice Dept.’s civil rights work is key priority

WASHINGTON (AP) — The early work of the Justice Department’s civil rights division meant confronting white supremacists who were intimidating Black voters, and 65 years later, its work is just as urgent amid a surge of hate crimes in the U.S., Attorney General Merrick Garland said Tuesday. “Now more than ever, protecting civil rights is […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Mississippi grain company’s ex-CEO indicted on fraud charges

GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) — The former leader of a Mississippi grain storage and processing company has been indicted on federal and state charges, more than a year after the company filed for bankruptcy, prosecutors said Tuesday. John R. Coleman, 46, of Greenwood, Mississippi, is the former CEO of Express Grain Terminals, LLC. A federal grand […]
18 hours ago
FILE - In this photo released by the Saudi Royal Palace, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, ri...
Associated Press

US court dismisses suit against Saudi prince in killing

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, bowing to the Biden administration’s insistence that the prince was legally immune in the case. District of Columbia U.S. District Judge John D. Bates heeded the U.S. government’s […]
18 hours ago
A burned-out warehouse is seen, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, in Baltimore. A man was found dead inside th...
Associated Press

Body of Baltimore fire victim went undiscovered for hours

BALTIMORE (AP) — Several hours after firefighters extinguished a warehouse fire in southwest Baltimore early Sunday, the scene was eerily quiet as Donte Craig stepped through the charred rubble, trying to remain hopeful. He was looking for his older brother James Craig Jr., who leased the warehouse for his demolition and hauling business. After hearing […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Judge reduces award for flight attendant who sued Southwest

DALLAS (AP) — A federal judge cut a flight attendant’s $5.1 million jury award to about $800,000 but ordered Southwest Airlines to rehire the woman, who had claimed that the airline and her union conspired to fire her for expressing opposition to abortion. U.S. District Judge Brantley Starr said in a ruling issued Monday that […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Asian stocks follow Wall St higher with China, Korea closed