Asia Stocks Mixed After Wall St Rises on Corporate Profits

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By JOE McDONALD, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets were mixed Wednesday after Wall Street rose on strong corporate profit reports.

Tokyo advanced while Shanghai and Hong Kong declined. The yen stayed near a two-decade low near 149 to the dollar. Oil prices gained.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index rose 1.1% on Tuesday after investment bank Goldman Sachs, military contractor Lockheed Martin and others reported strong results.

Market sentiment is “looking positive so far amid forecast-beating earnings,” said Anderson Alves of ActivTrades in a report.

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The profit reports helped at least temporarily offset investor worries that repeated interest rate hikes by U.S., European and Asian central banks to control inflation that is at multi-decade highs might tip the global economy into recession.

That concern has helped to drag U.S. stocks into a bear market, or a decline of more than 20% by the S&P 500 from its January high.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 0.7% to 27,353.87 while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3% to 3,072.85. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.9% to 16,766.79.

The Kospi in Seoul added less than 0.1% to 2,251.88 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 advanced 0.4% to 6,807.80. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets advanced.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 gained 3,719.98 as 90% of the stocks in the index rose.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.1% to close at 30,523.80. The Nasdaq composite advanced 0.9% to 10,772.40.

With no major economic data releases planned this week, investors focused on corporate earnings.

Goldman Sachs rose 2.3%, which helped to lift other lenders. Lockheed Martin jumped 8.7%, giving other military-related stocks a boost. General Dynamics rose 3.8%, Northrop Grumman gained 6.7% and Raytheon Technologies added 3.4%.

Johnson & Johnson slipped 0.3% after reporting solid financial result s but a narrowed forecast as it deals with a strong dollar cutting into sales outside the United States.

American Airlines, Union Pacific and American Express also report results this week.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose 99 cents to $83.06 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the price basis for international oil trading, advanced 66 cents to $90.69 per barrel in London.

The dollar eased to 149.16 yen from Tuesday’s 149.21 yen. The euro rose to 98.52 cents from 98.50 cents.

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