AP

Asian shares advance, Hong Kong up 2.8%, after Wall St rally

Dec 20, 2022, 11:53 PM | Updated: Dec 21, 2022, 10:15 pm

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares advanced in Asia on Thursday after a rally on Wall Street as investors welcomed a report showing U.S. consumer confidence is holding up despite the Federal Reserve’s campaign to fight inflation by raising interest rates.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 2.8% and benchmarks also rose in Tokyo, Sydney and Seoul. Mumbai declined. U.S. futures and oil prices were modestly higher.

Markets got a boost from a report showing U.S. consumer confidence is surprisingly strong, despite inflation squeezing wallets. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose to 108.3 in December from 101.4 in November. That pushed the index to its highest level since April. Last month’s figure was the lowest since July.

Asian markets also got a lift from the overnight rally in tech shares, which spilled into trading in Hong Kong. E-commerce giant Alibaba jumped 4.8% while online services company Tencent gained 3.9%. Online shopping and food delivery platform Meituan picked up 5.7%.

The Hang Seng surged 528 points to 19,688.67, while the Shanghai Composite index added 0.2% to 3,075.81.

“Asian stocks picked up where the U.S. market left off, with technology and property companies leading the charge after a profusion of comments from regulators on supporting broader markets,” Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a commentary.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 was 0.5% higher at 26,525.91 and the Kospi in Seoul rose 0.7% to 2,347.49. In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.5% to 7,152.20.

Stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street Wednesday, bringing major indexes into the green for the week.

The S&P 500 jumped 1.5% to 3,878.44 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 1.6% to 33,376.48, helped by a 12.2% surge for Nike after its earnings results trounced analysts’ estimates.

Technology companies powered a big share of Wednesday’s rally. Apple rose 2.4%.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite rose 1.5% to 10,709.37.

Small company stocks also gained ground. The Russell 2000 index rose 28.92 points, or 1.7%, to 1,776.94.

Consumer spending and the job market are strong areas for the U.S. economy that have helped prevent it from slipping into a recession. Wall Street is hoping for a “soft landing” from decades high inflation and the interest rate hikes being deployed to tame it.

The Fed’s key lending rate, the federal funds rate, stands at a range of 4.25% to 4.5%, the highest level in 15 years. Fed policymakers are forecasting the rate will reach a range of 5% to 5.25% by the end of 2023 and won’t be cut before 2024.

If the Fed goes too far in raising interest rates, it could cause the economy to stall and tip into recession.

Treasury yields mostly fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which influences mortgage rates, slipped to 3.66% from 3.69 late Tuesday.

Other new data released Wednesday showed the nation’s housing market slowed further last month, as sales of previously occupied homes fell for the tenth month in a row. Rising mortgage rates are making an already tight housing market even more difficult for prospective homebuyers.

The government will release Friday a closely watched monthly snapshot of consumer spending, the personal consumption expenditure price index. The report is monitored by the Fed as a barometer of inflation, which has been easing, albeit at a slow pace. Economists expect the report to show inflation cooled in November.

In energy trading, U.S. benchmark crude oil added 47 cents to $78.76 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It picked up $2.06 to $78.29 per barrel on Wednesday.

U.S. inventory data showed the Strategic Petroleum Reserve falling to 378.6 million barrels, its lowest level since 1983, thanks to a larger-than-expected draw down last week. That overrode worries about weak demand due to the slowing economy, pushing prices higher.

Brent crude, the pricing basis for international trading, gained 43 cents to $83.01 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar slipped to 131.92 Japanese yen from 132.42 yen. The euro rose to $1.0640 from $1.0606.

___

AP Business Writers Damian J. Troise and Alex Veiga contributed.

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

AP

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

2 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

3 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

10 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

11 days ago

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, and Kenya's Defense Minister Aden Duale, left, listen during...

Associated Press

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hospitalized with bladder issue

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized following symptoms pointing to an “emergent bladder issue."

13 days ago

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, stands with his wife, Victoria Osteen, as he conducts a...

Associated Press

Woman firing rifle killed by 2 off-duty officers at Houston’s Lakewood Church run by Joel Osteen

A woman entered the Texas megachurch of Joel Osteen and started shooting with a rifle Sunday and was killed by two off-duty officers.

13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Asian shares advance, Hong Kong up 2.8%, after Wall St rally