Asia Stocks Mixed As Wall Street Sputters
Asian stock markets were mixed Thursday after the U.S. economy contracted and China reported stronger factory activity. Shanghai and Hong Kong gained, while Tokyo and Seoul declined. Oil prices advanced, Joe McDonald reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Photo Insert: The Shanghai Composite Index increased 1% to 3,394.39 after an official monthly barometer of manufacturing activity improved and new orders increased.
The S&P 500 index fell 0.1 percent on Wednesday after data indicated the US economy contracted in the first quarter due to high prices and dwindling consumer confidence. Investors are concerned about signals that the world's largest economy may be into a recession as a result of interest rate hikes imposed to cool rising inflation.
In a report, Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said, “Equities demand could remain muted for at least the next four to six months as interest rate hikes work through the U.S. economy."
The Shanghai Composite Index increased 1% to 3,394.39 after an official monthly barometer of manufacturing activity improved and new orders increased.
The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index rose 0.1 percent to 22,025.14. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index declined 0.9 percent to 26,651.05 after June industrial production fell 7.2 percent from the previous month.
That was the steepest drop since the coronavirus pandemic began in early 2020. Seoul's Kospi dropped 0.7 percent to 2,361.93, while Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 fell 0.8 percent to 6,644.00.
The S&P 500 fell to 3,818.83 after official statistics revealed that economic activity fell 1.6 percent on an annualized basis in the three months ending in March. That was the first contraction since the pandemic's peak in the second quarter of 2020.
The US benchmark is down 7.6 percent for the month and 20 percent from its top on January 3. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.3 percent to 31,029.31 points. The Nasdaq composite fell less than 0.1% to 11,177.89.