Associated Press

July 8, 2020, 11:28 p.m. EDT

Asian markets follow Wall Street higher after tech stocks gain

Stocks rise in Hong Kong despite U.S.-China tensions over security law

By Associated Press

Bloomberg News
Pedestrians walk past the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher on Thursday following gains for major U.S. tech stocks.

The Shanghai Composite Index (SHG:CN:SHCOMP)   rose 0.6% and the Nikkei 225 (NIKKEI:JP:NIK)   in Tokyo added 0.2%. The Hang Seng (HONG:HK:HSI)   in Hong Kong gained 0.4% despite U.S.-Chinese tension over a security law imposed on the territory. The Kospi (KOREA:KR:180721)   in Seoul was 0.7% higher and Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 (S&P:AU:XJO)   advanced 0.9%. New Zealand (NZE:NZ:NZ50GR)   and Singapore (SES:SG:STI)   retreated while Jakarta (INDONESIA:ID:JAKIDX)   rose.

U.S. stocks have recovered most of this year’s losses, helping to push up global prices, despite rising numbers of American coronavirus infections that threaten to derail economic improvement. Investors are buying technology and other companies they expect to emerge stronger from the global downturn.

On Wednesday, Wall Street turned in its sixth gain in seven days when the benchmark S&P 500 index closed up 0.8%. Amazon (NAS:AMZN)  , Apple (NAS:AAPL)   and Microsoft (NAS:MSFT)   accounted for half that rise.

“The uptick in sentiment seems unrelated to any specific news,” said Stephen Innes of AxiCorp in a report.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 (S&P:SPX)   rose to 3,169.94 and Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW:DJIA)   rose 0.7%, to 26,067.28. The Nasdaq composite (AMERICAN:COMP)   gained 1.4% to 10,492.50.

Optimism is rising about a reopening U.S. economy, but virus case numbers are rising across much of the South and West. Some state governments have reversed plans to allow restaurants and other businesses to reopen.

Major companies are due to report quarterly results next week. They are expected to be dismal.

Benchmark U.S. crude   lost 11 cents to $40.79 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 28 cents on Wednesday to settle at $40.90. Brent crude  , the international price benchmark, shed 7 cents to $43.22 per barrel in London. It added 21 cents the previous session to $43.29.

The dollar (XTUP:USDJPY)   was unchanged at 107.31 yen.

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.