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May 6, 2021, 1:16 a.m. EDT

Asian markets mixed, as investors gauge pandemic recoveries

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By Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were mixed Thursday on cautious optimism about upcoming company earnings reports showing some recovery from the damage of the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.03% jumped 1.7% in the first session after the Golden Week series of national holidays. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.77% gained 0.5%, but Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.13% dipped 0.7%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.36% inched up 0.2%, while the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.58% slipped 0.2%.

Although the vaccine rollout is progressing slowly in Asia, compared to the U.S. and Europe, the global recovery is adding to optimism about exports and earnings of companies doing business overseas.

Japanese shares got a boost from remarks by policymakers at the Bank of Japan expressing resolve to prop up the economy with easy lending and stimulus measures. In the minutes for their meeting in March, they said the negative impact from COVID-19 on global economies was likely decreasing.

Major U.S. stock indexes closed mixed after an early technology company rebound faded, tempering the market’s recovery from a sell-off a day earlier.

The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.19% eked out a 0.1% gain to 4,167.59 after climbing 0.7% in the early going. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.04% rose 0.3% to 34,230.34, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.35% slid 0.4% to 13,582.42.

The Russell 2000 index /zigman2/quotes/210598147/delayed RUT +1.06% of small-company stocks lost 0.3%, to 2,241.37.

Financial and energy stocks helped keep the S&P 500 out of the red. JPMorgan Chase /zigman2/quotes/205971034/composite JPM -0.07% rose 1.3% and Exxon Mobil /zigman2/quotes/204455864/composite XOM -0.92% added 3%.

Technology stocks, which led the market’s blockbuster rebound in 2020, fell for the seventh straight day. The sector, one of 11 in the S&P 500, is up 4.6% this year, the third-smallest gain in the index after consumer staples and utilities. Energy companies are faring the best with a 38.1% gain so far this year.

The market’s mixed results came as investors remain focused on earnings reports, which have been better than expected. More than half of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported their results so far this earnings season, showing an average profit growth of 54%, according to FactSet.

“It’s been a pretty torrid pace in terms of earnings right now, but not everyone is being rewarded,” said J.J. Kinahan, chief strategist with TD Ameritrade. “To have your stock at least do OK during earnings season: No. 1 beat on revenue and No. 2 talk about a bright rest of the year trend.”

While shares have been pressing higher thanks to expectations that the pandemic is waning, investors remain concerned about the potential for higher inflation, signs of which are already cropping up as higher prices for oil, lumber and other commodities. Remarks by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen suggesting the Federal Reserve would have to raise interest rates to keep the economy from overheating sparked a late-afternoon sell-off on Tuesday.

Yellen downplayed those remarks, and several Fed officials followed suit Wednesday, which helped boost stocks, said Steve Chiavarone, an equity strategist at Federated Hermes.

“A combination of decent (economic) data, continued good earnings and a coordinated apology tour were enough to get markets to move back in an upward direction,” he said.

General Motors /zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite GM +0.24% shares rose 4% after the company posted a solid quarterly profit compared to a year earlier, but also affirmed its full-year outlook even as the automaker — like much of its competition — contends with a chip shortage that is impacting production.

Facebook /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB -0.36% shares fell 1% after the company announced its independent oversight board would continue to ban former President Donald Trump from the platform. Trump’s account had been suspended indefinitely after the January 6 insurrection at the capital, where his rhetoric has been blamed for the riots. The board did say that the company must decide if the ban is permanent.

Later this week, investors’ attention will turn to the jobs report for April. Economists expect the data to show employers hired 975,000 workers last month as the economy accelerated out of the pandemic and vaccines rolled out nationwide. The unemployment rate is expected to drop to 5.8% from 6%.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude /zigman2/quotes/211629951/delayed CL.1 +0.70% gained 3 cents to $65.66 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude , the international standard, added 10 cents to $69.06 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar inched down to 109.34 Japanese yen /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.3238% from 109.39 yen. The euro /zigman2/quotes/210561242/realtime/sampled EURUSD -0.5420% cost $1.2000, down from $1.2013.

/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
JP : Nikkei
28,948.73
-9.83 -0.03%
Volume: 0.00
June 11, 2021 3:15p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
3,249.32
+24.68 +0.77%
Volume: 1.65M
June 11, 2021 3:32p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
7,312.30
+9.80 +0.13%
Volume: 556,874
June 11, 2021 5:36p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
28,842.13
+103.25 +0.36%
Volume: 2.04M
June 11, 2021 4:08p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
3,589.75
-21.11 -0.58%
Volume: 36.06B
June 11, 2021 3:01p
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/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
4,247.44
+8.26 +0.19%
Volume: 1.69B
June 11, 2021 5:16p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
34,479.60
+13.36 +0.04%
Volume: 262.62M
June 11, 2021 5:16p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime
US : Nasdaq
14,069.42
+49.09 +0.35%
Volume: 3.84M
June 11, 2021 5:16p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598147/delayed
US : US Composite
2,335.81
+24.40 +1.06%
Volume: 1.75M
June 11, 2021 4:30p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205971034/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 160.29
-0.11 -0.07%
Volume: 13.68M
June 11, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
12.72
Dividend Yield
2.25%
Market Cap
$485.58 billion
Rev. per Employee
$498,110
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204455864/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 62.17
-0.58 -0.92%
Volume: 17.63M
June 11, 2021 4:03p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
5.60%
Market Cap
$265.65 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.47M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 61.49
+0.15 +0.24%
Volume: 10.21M
June 11, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
9.94
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$88.98 billion
Rev. per Employee
$790,226
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 331.26
-1.20 -0.36%
Volume: 13.59M
June 11, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
28.34
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$942.68 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.47M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/211629951/delayed
US : U.S.: Nymex
$ 70.78
+0.49 +0.70%
Volume: 519,748
June 11, 2021 4:59p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
109.6780
+0.3540 +0.3238%
Volume: 0.0000
June 11, 2021 4:59p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561242/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
1.2111
-0.0066 -0.5420%
Volume: 0.0000
June 11, 2021 4:59p
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