By Associated Press
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets were mixed Wednesday after Wall Street rose for a fifth day on strong corporate earnings.
Shanghai and Seoul, South Korea, fell while Tokyo and Hong Kong advanced.Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index rose 0.7%, propelled by health care and tech stocks.
Asian markets “were in positive territory” as the region “takes its cue from extended gains on Wall Street following encouraging earnings results,” said Anderson Alves of ActivTrades in a report.
Also Wednesday, investors watched for inflation updates from Britain and some other European governments. Higher inflation might force central banks to act sooner than planned on hiking interest rates and rolling back other economic stimulus.
The Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.44% lost 0.2% to 3,588 and the Nikkei 225 /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.50% in Tokyo gained 0.1% to 29,255. The Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -1.40% in Hong Kong added 1.3% to 26,134.
New Zealand and Singapore rose while Bangkok retreated.
On Tuesday, the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.01% rose to 4,519.63, within 0.4% of its Sept. 2 all-time high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.03% gained 198.70 points to 34,457.31. The Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -0.30% rose 107.28 points to 15,129.09.
Johnson & Johnson /zigman2/quotes/201724570/composite JNJ +1.75% , the biggest maker of health products, rose 2.3% after reporting strong quarterly earnings and raising its profit forecast for the year.
Investors worry disruptions to supply lines and shipping due to the coronavirus pandemic might depress corporate profits or push up inflation.
Procter & Gamble /zigman2/quotes/202894679/composite PG +0.06% fell 1.2% after saying it will raise prices amid higher commodity and freight costs.
Overall, however, analysts polled by FactSet forecast earnings growth of 30% for the S&P 500, up from 23% in June.
Exxon Mobil /zigman2/quotes/204455864/composite XOM +0.79% rose 1.5% as oil prices rose. U.S. crude is up 73% for the year, while natural gas prices have risen 81%.
Surging energy prices are rising concerns about a supply crunch that might hold back an economic recovery.
Also Tuesday, the the Commerce Department reported that U.S. home construction fell 1.6% in September. Beazer Homes /zigman2/quotes/208808128/composite BZH +1.26% fell 2.7% and Hovnanian Enterprises /zigman2/quotes/203952761/composite HOV +0.79% fell 3%.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude /zigman2/quotes/209723049/delayed CL00 +0.42% lost 52 cents to $81.92 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude , the price basis for international oils, declined 57 cents to $84.51 per barrel in London.
The dollar rose to 114.51 yen /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.4324% from Tuesday’s 114.31 yen. The euro /zigman2/quotes/210561242/realtime/sampled EURUSD +0.2745% held steady at $1.1640.