Asian shares rise after Wall Street rally on China reports

Business

A currency trader stands near screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), center, and the foreign exchange rate between U.S. dollar and South Korean won at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

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TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares rose Tuesday following a rally on Wall Street that sent the major indexes to record highs, cheered by surprisingly strong economic reports out of China.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.5% to 24,071.31. South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.1% to 2,191.29. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.1% to 27,815.17., while the Shanghai Composite stood at 3,013.25%, up 1.0%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was little changed at 6,847.10.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq notched all-time highs for the third straight trading day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average bested its last record high set in late November.

Among the reports out of China helping drive the rally were growth in factory activity and retail sales in the world’s second-largest economy that both beat analysts’ expectations for last month.

The market got a big confidence boost late last week after the United States and China reached a long-awaited “Phase 1” trade deal. The trade pact removed some of the uncertainty that’s hung over businesses and investors.

“What’s important about it is that we’re not witnessing an acceleration in the trade war,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. “Right now, what the market is looking at is the possibility that we go into 2020 and we actually see global growth beginning to emerge, even if it’s not immediate.”

The S&P 500 rose 22.65 points, or 0.7%, to 3,191.45. The benchmark index is on a four-day winning streak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 100.51 points, or 0.4%, to 28,235.89. The Nasdaq composite climbed 79.35 points, or 0.9%, to 8,814.23.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks picked up 11.96 points, or 0.7%, to 1,649.94.

The U.S. and China agreed last week to cut tariffs on some of each others’ goods and postpone other tariff threats, the first time the two countries have stepped back from the brink in their 17-month trade fight.

In return, China promised to ramp up its purchases of U.S. agricultural, energy and other goods and to stop forcing U.S. companies to turn over technology as a condition of doing business in that country.

The interim trade deal is one of a “trifecta of positive catalysts” that swept through the market last week and could help support it through the end of the year, Morgan Stanley strategists wrote in a research note. The others are a Federal Reserve that appears committed to keeping interest rates low and the potential for an orderly exit by the United Kingdom from the European Union following last week’s U.K. elections.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was unchanged at $60.21 a barrel. It rose 14 cents to $60.21 a barrel on Monday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped 109.53 Japanese yen from 109.54 yen on Monday. The euro weakened slightly to $1.1150 from $1.1148.

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AP Business Writers Alex Veiga and Stan Choe contributed.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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