Asian stocks up after Wall St. record amid vaccine optimism

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets were mostly higher Monday after Wall Street hit a record high on optimism the spread of coronavirus vaccines might allow global business to return to normal.

Tokyo rose while Seoul swung between gains and losses. Markets in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Australia were closed for holidays.

On Thursday, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index rose 1.2% on its last trading day before the holiday weekend, closing above 4,000 points for the first time.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 0.8% to 30,083.19 while the Kospi in Seoul was up less than 0.1% at 3,111.64 at mid-morning. Market benchmarks in Singapore, Bangkok and Jakarta advanced.

Investors have been encouraged by the spread of coronavirus vaccines despite rising infection numbers in the United States, Europe and other places that have prompted some governments to reimpose travel and business curbs.

On Friday, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond, or the difference between the market price and the payout at maturity, rose to 1.72% from Thursday’s 1.68%.

The yield has risen sharply this year, drawing money out of stocks, on expectations revived economic activity will cause inflation to rise, reducing the value of the payout in real terms.

Major Asian stock markets rose Friday following the S&P’s record-setting day.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 37 cents to $61.08 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $2.29 on Thursday to $61.45. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 43 cents to $64.43 per barrel in London. It gained $2.12 the previous session to $64.86 a barrel.

The dollar declined to 110.58 yen from Thursday’s 110.63 yen. The euro retreated to $1.1769 from $1.1773.