Asian stocks gain after Wall Street rise ahead of G7 meeting
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher Wednesday ahead of a meeting of major industrialized economies overshadowed by tension over U.S. steel tariffs.
KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.1 percent to 22,572.46 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.4 percent to 31,221.59. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 added 0.4 percent to 6,019.80 while the Shanghai Composite Index was unchanged at 3,114.35. South Korean markets were closed for a holiday. Benchmarks in Taiwan and New Zealand rose while Southeast Asian markets declined.
WALL STREET: U.S. stocks mostly rose, helped by gains for technology companies and retailers as up-and-down trading related to trade tensions gave way to smaller moves. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 0.2 percent to 2,748.80 while the Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.1 percent to 24,799.98. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.4 percent. Smaller retailers did especially well following strong first-quarter results. Amazon and Macy’s also rose.
G7: Leaders of the Group of Seven meet Friday amid criticism that President Donald Trump’s tariff hikes on steel and aluminum will undermine trade and weaken confidence in the global economy. Finance ministers of the other six governments expressed “concern and disappointment” over Trump’s moves in a statement last weekend. Allies including Canada and the European Union are threatening retaliatory tariffs.
TRADE: Mexico announced duties of 15 to 25 percent on imports from the United States including pork, steel tubes and bourbon in response to Trump’s tariff hike. The government said it would waive tariffs on pork from other countries to ensure adequate supplies.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “Between the geopolitical cloud that looms and the sustained growth momentum, global equity markets trudged on in a tepid pace,” said Jingyi Pan of IG in a report. Pan noted “renewed confidence” in information technology and forecasts of double-digit second quarter earnings growth. “The focus lies ahead with the bout of geopolitical development that could unfold with the G7 meeting amid a light midweek.”
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 20 cents to $65.72 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 77 cents on Tuesday to close at $65.52. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 6 cents to $75.44 per barrel in London. The contract was 6 cents higher the previous session to close at $75.38.
CURRENCY: The dollar gained to 109.86 yen from Tuesday’s 109.79 yen. The euro advanced to $1.1722 from $1.1715.