WORLD

Stock market today: Asian shares are mostly higher after another set of Wall St records

Mar 29, 2024, 1:22 AM | Updated: 2:18 am

BANGKOK (AP) — Asian shares ended mostly higher in quiet, Good Friday holiday trading, while European and U.S. markets were closed.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.5% to 40,369.44 and the Kospi in Seoul was little changed, at 2,748.55. The Shanghai Composite index gained 1% to 3,041.17.

Taiwan’s Taiex advanced 0.7%. In Bangkok, the SET added 0.5%.

India’s markets were closed for Holi.

The U.S. dollar slipped to 151.35 Japanese yen from 151.38 yen. The euro edged lower, to $1.0774 from $1.0790.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 added 0.1%, to its all-time high set a day before and closed at 5,254.35. It gained 10.2% in the first quarter.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked up 0.1% to 39,807.37 and likewise set a record. The Nasdaq composite dipped 0.1% to 16,379.46.

Chemours fell 9.1% despite reporting better results for the latest quarter than analysts expected. It gave a forecast for earnings before taxes and other items in the current quarter that was below analysts’ expectations.

Also on the losing end was Trump Media & Technology Group. The company behind former President Donald Trump’s Truth Social fell 6.4% after soaring more than 14% in each of the past two days. Its stock has shot well beyond what critics say is reasonable for the money-losing company, driven by fans of Trump and investors hoping to cash in on the mania.

The U.S. stock market has been on a nearly unstoppable run since late October, and the S&P 500 just capped its fifth straight winning month. It has leaped as the U.S. economy has remained remarkably solid despite high interest rates meant to get inflation under control.

And with inflation hopefully still cooling from its peak, the Federal Reserve has indicated it will likely cut interest rates several times later this year.

The U.S. economy’s growth in the final three months of last year was stronger than earlier estimated and another report said fewer U.S. workers applied for unemployment benefits last week, in the latest indications of resilience.

The hope on Wall Street is still that the Federal Reserve will begin cutting its main interest rate in June. Lower interest rates ease the pressure on the economy, while boosting prices for investments. But progress on bringing inflation down has become bumpier recently, with reports this year coming in hotter than expected.

Analysts said investors are ready to pounce on signs of a recovery in the housing market, with interest and mortgage rates expected to come down later this year.

U.S. benchmark crude oil gained $1.82 to $83.17 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Thursday. Brent crude, the international standard, surged $1.59 to $87.00 per barrel. Trading was closed Friday for the Good Friday holiday.

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