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Asian stocks rose, tracking Wall Street’s late-week rally

BANGKOK – Stocks were mostly higher in Asia on Monday after a strong close on Wall Street last week, although the latest manufacturing surveys showed a weakening of factory activity in the region’s biggest economies, China and Japan.

U.S. futures and oil prices were lower.

On Friday, Wall Street ended its best month since November 2020. The S&P 500, a benchmark for many funds, rose 1.4% to end July 9.1% higher.

A recovery in tech stocks, major retailers and other companies that rely on direct consumer spending helped fuel big gains in July, although the index is still down 13.3% for the year.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.7 percent to 27,993.35, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.2 percent to 3,259.96. In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.7% to 6,993.00. Seoul’s Kospi ended largely unchanged at 2,452.25 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.1 percent to 20,179.94.

The recovery in Chinese manufacturing after the shutdown of anti-virus programs slowed in July as activity eased, a survey showed on Sunday, increasing pressure on the struggling economy in a politically sensitive year when President Xi Jinping is expected to try to extend his time on power.

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Factory activity has been weighed down by weak global demand and virus controls weighing on domestic consumer spending, according to the national statistics agency and an official industry group, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.

A similar survey of purchasing managers, Japan’s Jibun Bank manufacturing PMI fell to 52.1 in July from 52.7 in June, the sector’s slowest growth in 10 months, as energy and labor costs rose. The study measures various components on a scale of up to 100, with readings above 50 indicating enlargement.

Investors in the region will get another round of corporate earnings updates this week. Wall Street’s latest rally came as investors weighed a combination of corporate earnings reports and new data showing inflation jumped the most in four decades last month.

The tech Nasdaq rose 1.9% to end the month 12.4% higher, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1% to post a 6.7% gain for the month. The Russell 2000 rose 0.7% to end July up 10.4%.

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Weak economic data, including a report on Thursday showing the U.S. economy shrank in the last quarter and may be in recession, also pushed stocks higher, giving some investors confidence that the Federal Reserve will be able to pull back aggressive rate hike earlier than expected.

The central bank raised its key short-term interest rate by 0.75 percentage points on Wednesday, taking it to the highest level since 2018. The Fed has been raising rates in an effort to slow the U.S. economy and quell inflation.

A measure of inflation, closely watched by the Federal Reserve, jumped 6.8 percent in June from a year earlier, the biggest increase in four decades, leaving Americans with no relief from rising prices. On a monthly basis, inflation accelerated to 1% in June from a monthly increase of 0.6% in May, the Commerce Department said on Friday.

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In Europe, inflation jumped in July, reaching 8.9% in the 19 European countries that use the euro currency.

In other trading early Monday, U.S. benchmark crude lost $1.05 to $97.57 a barrel. It jumped $2.20 to $98.62 on Friday. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil pricing, lost 64 cents to $103.33 a barrel.

The US dollar fell to 132.18 Japanese yen from 133.25 yen. The euro rose to $1.0235 from $1.0223.

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Asian stocks rose, tracking Wall Street’s late-week rally

Source link Asian stocks rose, tracking Wall Street’s late-week rally

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