Asian shares climb after US benchmarks hit record highs

Business
Vincent Napolitano

FILE – In this July 1, 2019, file photo trader Vincent Napolitano works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 3. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

TOKYO (AP) — Shares opened higher in Asia on Thursday, tracking the ascent by major U.S. indexes to record highs.

The rally follows a slight easing of trade tensions between the U.S. and China after they agreed to refrain from new tariffs pending a new round of negotiations. That has relieved some pressure on markets, though the trade war still overshadows the global economic outlook.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index added 0.3% to 21,707.65, while the Shanghai Composite index edged 0.1% higher to 3,017.26. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng gained 0.4% to 28,985.55, while the S&P ASX 200 in Australia rose 0.6% to 6,724.40.

Shares rose in Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia in Malaysia.

On Wall Street, investors extended a rally through a holiday-shortened day, with the S&P 500 index gaining 0.8% to close at 2,995.82, the third record high close in as many days.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average also reached a record, gaining 0.7% to close at 26,966. A rally in technology shares pushed the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite 0.8% higher to 8,170.23.

The market will be closed Thursday for the Independence Day holiday.

“Clearly the trade truce with China has been a catalyst for the market even though there remain uncertainties,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial.

Technology companies, which tend to do a lot of business with China, have been particularly sensitive to the trade war between the U.S. and China. The sector has been broadly higher this week.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters in Washington that he expected to announce a new round of negotiations soon. “They’re on the phone,” he said. “There’s lots of communication.”

“We’re not done yet, but we’re hopeful,” he said.

Every sector in the S&P 500 made gains on Wednesday, and the records are adding up to a yearlong rally. The S&P 500 is up more than 19% so far, while the Dow is up more than 15%. The Nasdaq is now up 23% for the year.

Investors will be watching for the U.S. government’s closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday. The results of that report will likely be a factor in the Federal Reserve’s meeting later this month. The central bank has already said it is prepared to cut rates to shore up the U.S. economy if trade disputes crimp growth.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.95% from 1.97% Tuesday.

In commodities trading, benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 39 cents to $56.95 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose $1.09 on Wednesday to settle at $57.34 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, gave up 47 cents to $63.35 per barrel. It rose $1.42 overnight to close at $63.82 a barrel. It

The dollar slipped to 107.75 Japanese yen from 107.83 yen on Wednesday. The euro rose to $1.1289 from $1.1279.

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AP Business Writer Damien J. Troise contributed.

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