Wed, Oct 20, 2021 12:55 AM
By JOE McDONALD, AP Business Writer
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets were mixed Wednesday after Wall Street rose for a fifth day on strong corporate earnings.
Shanghai and Seoul, South Korea, fell while Tokyo and Hong Kong advanced.
Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 index rose 0.7%, propelled by health care and tech stocks.
Asian markets “were in positive territory” as the region “takes its cue from extended gains on Wall Street following encouraging earnings results,” said Anderson Alves of ActivTrades in a report.
Also Wednesday, investors watched for inflation updates from Britain and some other European governments. Higher inflation might force central banks to act sooner than planned on hiking interest rates and rolling back other economic stimulus.
The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4% to 3,578.59 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 0.2% to 29,269.51. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.9% to 26,020.33.
The Kospi in Seoul shed 0.1% to 3,024.79 while Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 advanced 0.8% to 7,432.70.
New Zealand and Singapore rose while Bangkok retreated.
On Tuesday, the S&P 500 rose to 4,519.63, within 0.4% of its Sept. 2 all-time high.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 198.70 points to 34,457.31. The Nasdaq composite rose 107.28 points to 15,129.09.
Johnson & Johnson, the biggest maker of health products, rose 2.3% after reporting strong quarterly earnings and raising its profit forecast for the year.
Apple Inc. rose 1.5% and software maker Adobe gained 2.1%.
Investors worry disruptions to supply lines and shipping due to the coronavirus pandemic might depress corporate profits or push up inflation.
Procter & Gamble fell 1.2% after saying it will raise prices amid higher commodity and freight costs.
Overall, however, analysts polled by FactSet forecast earnings growth of 30% for the S&P 500, up from 23% in June.
Exxon Mobil rose 1.5% as oil prices rose. U.S. crude is up 73% for the year, while natural gas prices have risen 81%.
Surging energy prices are rising concerns about a supply crunch that might hold back an economic recovery.
Also Tuesday, the the Commerce Department reported that U.S. home construction fell 1.6% in September. Beazer Homes fell 2.7% and Hovnanian Enterprises fell 3%.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 52 cents to $81.92 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the price basis for international oils, declined 57 cents to $84.51 per barrel in London.
The dollar rose to 114.51 yen from Tuesday's 114.31 yen. The euro held steady at $1.1640.