TOKYO – Asian stock markets edged higher Tuesday as investor sentiment got a boost from another record close on Wall Street.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 0.8 per cent to 16,907.28, recouping losses from the previous session. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.5 per cent to 23,861.33 and China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.8 per cent to 2,492.43. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.3 per cent to 5,509.40 while markets in New Zealand and Southeast Asia rose.
WALL STREET: U.S. stocks are trading at record levels, rebounding on the back of solid company earnings and signs the world’s No. 1 economy is on a growth track. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 6.34 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 2,038.26 on Monday. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 39.81 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 17,613.74. The Nasdaq composite climbed 19.08 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 4,651.62.
THE QUOTE: “Investors reflected on sound corporate earnings and an encouraging macro environment,” said Will Leys, sales trader at CMC Markets in Sydney. “The likelihood of low rates for the near term, combined with improving sentiment and low commodity prices, is currently offsetting concerns over the global growth outlook. “
ECONOMY WATCH: Investors are looking to the release of revised Japanese July-September gross domestic product data from Japan next week. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said an indication of economic health is key in determining whether he will again raise the sales tax next year. Japan’s economy took a hit when the sales tax was increased in April. But signs about the U.S. economy have been positive recently. Reports last week showed that U.S. manufacturing continued to expand and hiring remained healthy.
THE QUOTE-2: “There is no big change in the factors of late,” Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Securities in Tokyo, said on NTV, of the Wall Street gains, and the cheap yen — both pluses for export-oriented Japanese equities. “The Nikkei is going to be fluctuating in the upper 16,000 point levels for some time.” The question is whether the economy has recuperated recently from the blow consumption took after the sales tax was raised in April, he said.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was down 10 cents to $77.30 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell $1.25 to close at $77.40 on Monday.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 114.76 yen from 114.94 yen late Monday. The euro rose to $1.2435 from $1.2425.