Asian Shares Advance On Optimism Over US Economy

(RTTNews) – Asian stocks ended mostly higher on Thursday as encouraging U.S. data and earnings helped ease recession concerns.

The dollar index held steady while U.S. Treasury yields pulled back somewhat after touching two-week highs on Wednesday.

Oil traded flat in Asian trading after falling around 4 percent to almost six-month lows in the U.S. trading session overnight as data showed crude and gasoline stockpiles unexpectedly surged last week.

Chinese shares rose notably as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi left Taiwan after a trip that defied a series of stark threats from Beijing. China said military exercises by its navy, air force and other departments are underway in six zones surrounding Taiwan.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index climbed 0.80 percent to 3,189.04 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped 2.06 percent to settle at 20,174.04, led by gains in the tech sector.

Japanese shares advanced despite Toyota Motor, the country’s largest automaker, posting a large drop in quarterly earnings

The Nikkei average gained 0.69 percent to finish at 27,932.20 while the broader Topix index closed marginally lower at 1,930.73 after swinging between gains and losses throughout the session.

Casio Computer surged 6.3 percent and Subaru added 8.5 percent after reporting positive earnings.

Advantest and Tokyo Electron both rose over 3 percent after the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor Index gained 2.65 percent overnight.

Toyota lost 3 percent as it reported a 42 percent decline in quarterly operating profits, hit by supply constraints and rising costs.

Seoul shares gained ground on foreign buying. The Kospi average edged up 0.47 percent to 2,473.11. Korean Air Lines jumped 5.2 percent and LG Electronics climbed 2.4 percent.

Australian markets ended a choppy session on a flat note. Financials and tech stocks topped the gainers list, offsetting losses in the mining and energy sectors. Altas Arteria gained 3.5 percent after IFM Investors lifted its stake in the toll road developer.

New Zealand shares eked out modest gains, with the benchmark NZX-50 index rising 0.26 percent to close at 11,735.47. Auckland International Airport, Mainfreight and Ryman Healthcare rose 2-3 percent.

U.S. stocks snapped a two-day losing streak on Wednesday and Treasury yields hit two-week highs, as investors cheered encouraging economic data and solid earnings reports from big companies including Starbucks.

June data on durable goods orders and manufacturing topped forecasts and activity in the services sector unexpectedly strengthened to a three-month high in July, helping ease concerns about a recession.

The S&P 500 surged 1.6 percent to an almost two-month high, while the Dow gained 1.3 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite soared 2.6 percent.

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