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Saturday November 17th, 2018 10:54PM

Higher Asian markets mirror optimism on Wall Street

By The Associated Press
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SINGAPORE (AP) — Asian markets were mostly higher on Tuesday as overnight gains on Wall Street and the lack of bad news surrounding U.S.-China tariffs boosted sentiment.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.7 percent to 22,196.89 and South Korea's Kospi gained 0.3 percent to 2,292.90. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.1 percent to 28,711.29. The Shanghai Composite index was less than 0.1 percent higher at 2,816.10. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 bucked the regional trend, dropping 0.4 percent to 6,258.10. Shares rose in Taiwan and were mostly higher in Southeast Asia.

WALL STREET: The S&P 500 index rose 0.9 percent on Monday to 2,784.17. It's the third straight day that the index has climbed at least 0.8 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 1.3 percent to 24,776.59. The Nasdaq composite added 0.9 percent to 7,756.20.

U.S. OPTIMISM: U.S. stocks climbed on Monday as investors geared up for buoyant earnings reports in the coming weeks. This added to optimism after a strong jobs report on Friday. The Labor Department said that U.S. employers added 213,000 jobs in June, suggesting that hiring remains brisk although average hourly pay rose just 2.7 percent from a year earlier.

TRADE TARIFFS: On Friday, Washington put in place a 25 percent tax on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports. Beijing retaliated with an equal amount of tariffs on U.S. products, including soybeans, electric cars and whiskey. The development hardly rattled the markets, as investors had weeks to steady their nerves. The U.S. is currently gathering public comments for taxes on 284 more Chinese imports worth $16 billion. It is also identifying an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods for 10 percent tariffs, which the Trump administration has said would take effect if Beijing reacted to higher U.S. taxes.

CHINA INFLATION: China's inflation rate for June, released on Tuesday, rose in line with market expectations. The National Bureau of Statistics announced that the consumer price index was 1.9 percent in June from a year earlier, up from 1.8 percent in May. There was little indication of the impact of rising U.S. tariffs on Chinese products.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "Despite Trump suggesting that there are more tariffs to come, the fact that they've not been put in place gives markets a little bit of relief. The optimism is temporary. But for now, no news is good news," said Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and macro strategy at Mizuho Bank.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 41 cents to $74.26 a barrel. It gained 5 cents to settle at $73.85 per barrel in New York late Monday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 44 cents to $78.51 per barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 111.09 yen from 110.82 yen on Monday. The euro weakened to $ 1.1738 from $1.1749.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets
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