AP

Asian markets climb, tracking profit-driven gains on Wall St

Jul 18, 2022, 11:26 AM | Updated: Jul 19, 2022, 9:17 pm

A currency trader walks near the screen showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at a ...

A currency trader walks near the screen showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at a foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, July 20, 2022. Asian shares advanced Wednesday after Wall Street rallied to its best day in more than three weeks as companies reported strong profits for the past quarter. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

BANGKOK (AP) — Asian shares advanced Wednesday after Wall Street rallied to its best day in more than three weeks as companies reported strong profits for the past quarter.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 jumped 2.5% to 27,631.50 while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 2% to 21,068.85. In Seoul, the Kospi added 1% to 2,395.19. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 climbed 1.7% to 6,765.00, while the Shanghai Composite index rose 0.7% to 3,301.25.

Shares also rose in India and Taiwan.

China’s central bank kept its loan prime rate steady despite the latest data showing a significant slowdown in growth in the past quarter, when pandemic-related shutdowns in many cities idled businesses and other activity.

“This comes as economic reopening continues to take place albeit at a slower pace, potentially leading to some near-term wait-and-see on economic progress before delivering further cuts ahead,” Jun Rong Yeap of IG said in a commentary.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 climbed 2.8% to 3,936.69. The Dow jumped 2.4% to 31,827.05. The Nasdaq roared 3.1% to 11,713.15. The Russell 2000 surged 3.5% to 1,799.32.

Stocks have dropped roughly 20% this year on worries about rising interest rates and high inflation. That puts a brighter spotlight than usual on how much profit companies are making. Strong earnings would provide a major support for markets. But if CEOs warn about troubles ahead, another tumble may be on the way.

Toy company Hasbro rose 0.7% after it reported stronger profit than analysts expected. Oilfield services provider Halliburton added 2.1% after its profit and revenue topped forecasts. Netflix jumped 8% in after-hours trading after the company reported better-than expected results and a smaller subscriber loss than analysts had feared.

Twitter rose 2.8% after a court in Delaware agreed to quickly schedule a lawsuit that could force billionaire Elon Musk to make good on his agreement to buy the company.

Expectations for economic growth and profits have darkened according to a Bank of America monthly survey of global fund managers. That has them sitting on their highest cash levels since 2001 and their lowest allocations to stocks since 2008.

On Thursday, the European Central Bank is expected to raise interest rates for the first time in 11 years in hopes of knocking down high inflation.

The Federal Reserve has already raised rates three times this year, and by increasing amounts each time. It will announce its next increase next week, and the only question among investors is whether it will go with another increase of 0.75 percentage points or a colossal hike of a full point.

In other trading, U.S. benchmark crude oil lost 56 cents to $100.18 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained $1.32 to $100.74 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard for pricing, lost 41 cents to $106.94 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar was trading at 138.08 Japanese yen, down from 138.18 yen late Tuesday. The euro rose to $1.0245 from $1.0231.

___

AP Business Writers Damian J. Troise and Stan Choe contributed.

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