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Thursday September 19th, 2019 9:23PM

Asian shares mostly higher after Wall St sets new records

By The Associated Press
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BANGKOK (AP) — Shares were mostly higher in Asia on Friday after a turbulent day on Wall Street ended with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing above 27,000 for the first time.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.2% to 21,685.90 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.2% to 28,477.83. The Shanghai Composite index also climbed 0.4% to 2,930.55, while Australia's S&P ASX 200 lost 0.3% to 6,696.50. South Korea's Kospi climbed 0.3% to 2,086.66. Shares fell in Taiwan, Jakarta and Bangkok but rose in Singapore.

Regional investors were watching for Chinese trade data due out later Friday.

The Wall Street milestones came on a day when the S&P 500 briefly topped 3,000 for the second straight day before the rally ran out of steam

The market lost some ground after an auction of long-term U.S. government bonds failed to drum up strong demand. That pulled bond prices lower, sending the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note to 2.13% from 2.06% late Wednesday, a big move.

Stocks have been trending higher for much of the week as investors have grown more confident that the Federal Reserve may cut interest rates for the first time in a decade as soon as the end of this month.

The S&P 500 rose 0.2% to 2,999.91 and has set three straight record highs. The Dow gained 0.8% to 27,088.08. The Nasdaq composite gave up an early gain, sliding 0.1% to 8,196.04, while the Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks dropped 0.5% to 1,557.92.

Stocks rose from the get-go Thursday as investors looked ahead to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell testifying before a Congressional committee for the second straight day.

Powell stressed that the Fed is prepared to cut interest rates to support the economy, raising hopes that the first reduction in its key policy rate in a decade could happen later this month.

He noted that "uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the U.S. economic outlook."

New government data released Thursday showed consumer prices rose in June from a year earlier. The bump in inflation wasn't expected to give the Fed reason to reconsider whether it should lower rates, if necessary. Inflation has remained muted through much of the economy's 10-year expansion, which Powell has said cited as a justification for potentially lowering rates.

"With the latest inflation data uptick led by volatile categories, equity investors quickly brushed it aside and continued to relish in the afterglow of a far more dovish than expected Chair Powell as rate cut fever remains alive and well," Stephen Innes of Vanguard Markets said in a commentary.

ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil rose 45 cents to $60.65 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Thursday, it lost 23 cents to settle at $60.20 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the international standard, added 52 cents to $67.04 per barrel. It dropped 49 cents to close at $66.52 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 108.34 Japanese yen from 108.50 yen on Thursday. The euro strengthened to $1.1272 from $1.1254.

___

AP Business Writer Alex Veiga contributed.

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