AP NEWS

Asian shares rise after Wall Street gain on solid earnings

October 16, 2019
FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2019, file photo trader Mark Puetzer, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, Oct. 15. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2019, file photo trader Mark Puetzer, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, Oct. 15. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were higher Wednesday after a gain on Wall Street boosted by healthy earnings reports from U.S. companies.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1.6% in morning trading to 22,554.05, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.0% to 6,720.10, while South Korea’s Kospi added 0.6% to 2,079.39. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.5% at 26,638.14, while the Shanghai Composite edged up nearly 0.2% to 2,996.50.

Stocks notched solid gains on Wall Street on Tuesday as investors welcomed surprisingly good quarterly results from some of the nation’s biggest companies.

Strong earnings from UnitedHealth Group, JPMorgan Chase and other companies helped power the market’s broad gains, erasing modest losses from a day earlier.

Investors are looking to the wave of quarterly report cards due out over the next few weeks to give them a clearer picture of what impact the trade war between the U.S. and China is having on corporate profits and the broader economy.

“Global market sentiment was seen picking up a notch overnight with Wall Street gaining on earnings despite the uncertainty that persists on U.S.-China trade,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist with IG in Singapore.

“Breaking news of China threatening to retaliate if U.S. passes the Hong Kong bill and the IMF’s latest downgrading of the global growth forecast appear to be doing little to the trading action so far this morning, but remains items highlighting the uncertainty in outlook.”

The encouraging earnings reports came with a spate of surprisingly good forecasts for the rest of the year, which helped ease concerns about a slowdown due to the costly trade conflict.

The S&P 500 index climbed 29.53 points, or 1%, to 2,995.68. The benchmark index is now 1% below its all-time high set in July.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 237.44 points, or 0.9%, to 27,024.80. The Nasdaq gained 100.06 points, or 1.2%, to 8,148.71. Small-company stocks also bounced back after leading the decline a day earlier. The Russell 2000 index picked up 17.87 points, or 1.2%, to 1,523.30.

On Friday, the U.S. agreed to suspend a planned hike in tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods that had been set to kick in Tuesday. Beijing, meanwhile, agreed to buy $40 billion to $50 billion in U.S. farm products.

The U.S. did not, however, cancel plans for more tariffs in December and the sticking points of intellectual property and trade secrets still hang over the dispute.

ENERGY:

Benchmark crude oil rose 13 cents to $52.94 a barrel. It fell 78 cents to $52.81 a barrel Tuesday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, rose 10 cents to $58.84 a barrel.

CURRENCIES:

The dollar rose to 108.69 Japanese yen from 108.27 yen on Monday. The euro strengthened to $1.1028 from $1.1006.

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AP Business Writers Alex Veiga and Damian J. Troise contributed to this report.