By Associated Press
TOKYO — Asian shares were mixed Thursday, taking their cue from a wobbly day of trading on Wall Street.
China reported its economy expanded at a 7.9% annual rate in the last quarter, down from 18.3% in January-March. But that reflected a leveling off of its relatively early recovery from the pandemic.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.53% slipped 0.9%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.65% dipped 0.1% while South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.02% added 0.5%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.15% added 1.3%, while the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.03% inched up 0.4%. Stocks fell in Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +0.01% , but rose in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 +0.24% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX +0.05% .
Reaction to China’s latest data was muted, said Harpreet Bhal of ActivTrades.
“Investors will be watching the dynamics of the narrative around China’s monetary and fiscal easing as worries around H2 growth materialize after a possible pick-up in global activity in the first half of this year,” Bhal said in a commentary.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.16% eked out a 0.1% gain, to 4,374.30, after recovering from an early stumble and then losing much of its momentum by late afternoon, as a rally in technology stocks was kept in check by a slide in banks and energy companies. The benchmark index recovered some of its losses from a day earlier, but finished just short of its all-time high set on Monday.
The Nasdaq composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.13% slipped 0.2%, to 14,644.95, despite gains by several big tech companies including Apple. Small company stocks continued to lag the broader market.
Investors had a mixed reaction to a new batch of earnings news from banks, airlines and other companies, as well as the latest report showing another rise in inflation. They also kept an eye on the latest comments on inflation from the Federal Reserve chair, who reaffirmed the Fed’s view that the surge in costs across the economy is temporary.
“Investors right now are focusing on earnings because they are still buying what the Fed is saying about inflation (and) that it’s too early to start to raise rates and potentially slow a reopening economy,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.18% added 0.1%, to 34,993.23.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell suggested in testimony to a House committee that inflation will likely remain elevated, but eventually moderate, reinforcing the central bank’s position that rising inflation is a temporary impact from the recovering economy.
Long-term bond yields were mostly lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.34% from 1.41% late Tuesday.
In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude fell 73 cents to $72.40 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It dropped $2.12 to $73.13 per barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude , the international standard, lost 71 cents to $74.05 a barrel.
In currency trading, the U.S. dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.0729% fell to 109.88 Japanese yen from 109.97 yen.