By Associated Press and Marketwatch
Shares advanced in Asia on Wednesday following a rally on Wall Street led by technology companies. There was little if any immediate reaction to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.44% gained 0.3% early Wednesday. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.34% also climbed 0.5%. Markets in Hong Kong, mainland China and most of Southeast Asia were closed for lunar new year holidays.
Among individual stocks, Yamaha Corp. /zigman2/quotes/210308144/delayed JP:7951 -0.99% and Panasonic /zigman2/quotes/201785256/delayed JP:6752 +3.28% rose while NTT Data /zigman2/quotes/207627127/delayed JP:9613 0.00% , Nintendo /zigman2/quotes/208063194/delayed JP:7974 +1.85% and Sony /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 -1.18% were among the biggest decliners. A day after surging, Australian bank stocks slid back, with ANZ Banking /zigman2/quotes/205482049/delayed AU:ANZ -0.40% , Commonwealth Bank /zigman2/quotes/200638713/delayed AU:CBA -0.27% , National Australia Bank /zigman2/quotes/210431826/delayed AU:NAB -0.74% and Westpac /zigman2/quotes/203084975/delayed AU:WBC -0.18% declining.
The overnight rally in U.S. markets, supported by strong corporate earnings, extended the benchmark S&P 500 index’s winning streak to five days.
More than 68% of companies reporting earnings in the S&P 500 beat analyst forecasts during the most recent quarter. Those results, in part, helped drive the market’s best January in 32 years.
Positive sentiment has been supported by reports from Washington, citing unnamed sources, that say U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin plan to travel to Beijing next week for the next round of talks aimed at resolving trade and technology-related disputes that have led to both sides imposing tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of each other’s products.
The S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.30% added 0.5% to 2,737.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.57% gained 0.7% to 25,411.52. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.09% added 0.7% to 7,402.08.
U.S. crude oil added 7 cents to $53.73 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 1.6 percent to settle at $53.66 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude , used to price international oils, picked up 4 cents to $62.02 per barrel. It slid 0.8 percent to close at $61.98 per barrel in London.
The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.0039% slipped to 109.80 yen from 109.96 yen on Tuesday.