Asian shares mostly higher on US earnings, tax progress
HONG KONG (AP) — Asian shares were mostly higher Friday, extending global gains after Wall Street reported a round of healthy earnings and U.S. politicians took a step forward on President Donald Trump’s tax reform plan.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added to gains a day after a big, adding 0.2 percent to 22,404.85. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.2 percent to 2,539.25. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.7 percent to 29,224.42 but the Shanghai Composite index lost 0.4 percent to 3,385.33. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.3 percent to 5,958.80.
EARNINGS ROUNDUP: Strong third-quarter earnings reports from big U.S. companies helped lift investor sentiment. Retailers Wal-Mart Stores and Gap and network equipment maker Cisco Systems beat analyst expectations with their earnings results.
U.S. TAXES: Trump’s overhaul for corporate and personal taxes made some progress as U.S. House Republicans voted to pass the $1.5 trillion package but it still faces many more steps. The Senate still has to approve its own, different version. One big feature of both versions is that they would slash the 35 percent corporate tax rate to 20 percent.
THE TAKE: “Of course, now it still has to pass the U.S. Senate, which is proving a little trickier,” Rabobank’s Asia-Pacific Strategist Michael Every wrote in a commentary. “But it is momentum at least, which we can expect to be carried through into Asian markets today after a positive U.S. session.”
WALL STREET: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.8 percent to 2,585.64. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.8 percent to 23,458.36. The Nasdaq added 1.3 percent to 6,793.29.
CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 112.43 yen from 113.03 yen on Thursday. The euro rose to $1.1820 from $1.1773.
ENERGY: Oil futures were mixed. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 17 cents to $55.31 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract slipped 19 cents to settle at $55.14 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, slid 20 cents to $61.16 a barrel in London.