Stock market today: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index logs record close, as markets track rally on Wall St

Jul 8, 2024, 11:42 PM | Updated: Jul 9, 2024, 9:16 pm

A person takes photo of an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei index at a securities firm...

A person takes photo of an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei index at a securities firm Tuesday, July 9, 2024, in Tokyo. Asian shares were mostly higher Tuesday after Wall Street benchmarks reached more milestones. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were mostly higher Tuesday, with Tokyo’s benchmark hitting another record, after Wall Street benchmarks reached more milestones.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 jumped 2.0% to finish at a record high 41,580.17. It briefly topped previous intraday trading highs.

Technology-related shares led gains, with computer chip maker Tokyo Electron surging 3.8% and chip testing equipment maker Advantest up 4.1%. Precision tools maker Disco Corp. rose 2.5% and Shin-Etsu Chemical, which supplies silicon for chips, among other materials, was up 2.7%.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.9% to 7,829.70. South Korea’s Kospi edged up 0.3% to 2,864.85. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 0.3% to 17,577.60, while the Shanghai Composite surged 1.3% to 2,959.74.

“Risk-taking will still likely be more measured ahead of the Federal Reserve Chair’s testimony and the key U.S. inflation release this week,” Yeap Jun Rong, a market analyst at IG, said in a commentary.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite each notched all-time highs. The S&P 500 rose 0.1% to 5,572.85 and the Nasdaq closed 0.3% higher at 18,403.74. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.1% lower, at 39,344.79.

Wall Street indexes have been gaining ground steadily over the last several months, and that has helped push the benchmark S&P 500 index to 35 records so far this year.

Gains in tech stocks, including several chipmakers, tempered declines in communication services, energy and other sectors of the S&P 500. Nvidia rose 1.9%, Broadcom added 2.5% and Advanced Micro Devices finished with a 3.9% gain.

Specialty glassware maker Corning surged 12% for the biggest gain in the market Monday after raising its sales forecast.

Troubled airplane maker Boeing rose 0.5% after agreeing to plead guilty to a criminal fraud charge stemming from two crashes of 737 Max jetliners that killed 346 people. The government determined the company violated an agreement that had protected it from prosecution for more than three years.

Entertainment giant Paramount Global slid 5.3% for the biggest decline among S&P 500 stocks after it agreed to merge with Skydance.

Traders are looking ahead to several earnings reports this week including updates from Delta Air Lines on Thursday.

JPMorgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo will report results on Friday. The latest updates for banks could give Wall Street a clearer picture on how consumers are handling increased debt and whether banks are worried about payments and potential delinquencies.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell addresses Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday. The central bank has kept its benchmark interest rate at its highest level in more than two decades in an effort to tame inflation.

The Fed’s goal is to cool inflation back to 2% without slowing economic growth too much. Inflation is still squeezing consumers, but it has fallen significantly from its peak two years ago. Economic growth has slowed this year, but it remains relatively strong amid a solid jobs market and consumer spending.

“The first day of the testimony is always the most important day as we will get to catch the overall tone and the key messages. Some expect Powell to sound cautious regarding the progress on inflation and tell the U.S. politicians to be patient until the Fed gathers enough evidence that inflation is on a solid path toward their 2% target,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank.

The central bank will get more updates on inflation at the consumer level on Thursday. Wall Street expects the latest government report to show inflation easing to 3.1% in June from 3.3% in May.

A report for inflation at the wholesale level, before costs are passed on to consumers, is expected Friday.

Treasury yields were relatively stable in the bond market. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 4.27% from 4.28% late Friday.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude rose 8 cents to $82.41 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, edged up 9 cents to $85.84 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar edged up to 160.90 Japanese yen from 160.80 yen.

The euro cost $1.0831, little changed from $1.0827.


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