Asia Stocks Mixed Despite Wall Street Gain
Asian stock markets were mixed Wednesday, May 18, 2022, after Wall Street rose and the Federal Reserve’s chairman said it will raise interest rates further if needed to cool inflation, Joe McDonald reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Photo Insert: The Shanghai Stock Exchange
Shanghai and Hong Kong declined. Tokyo and Seoul advanced. Oil prices rose to stay above $110 per barrel. On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index rose by an unusually wide daily margin of 2% after positive U.S. retail sales data helped to offset concern about inflation.
The Fed will “have to consider moving more aggressively” if inflation that is running at a four-decade high fails to ease after earlier rate hikes, chair Jerome Powell said at a Wall Street Journal conference.
Expectations of rate hikes “ticked higher” due to Powell’s comments, but “markets are shrugging it off and are in need of a breather” after a sell-off, Yeap Jun Rong of IG said in a report. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.5% to 3,077.88 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong sank 0.7% to 20,470.28.
The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 0.7% after the government reported economic output shrank 0.2% in the first three months of 2022. That was stronger than expectations.
The Kospi in Seoul gained 0.2% to 2,626.91 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 advanced 1% to 7,183.30. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 advanced to 4,088.85. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.3% to 32,654.59. The Nasdaq gained 2.8% to 11,984.52.
In energy markets, benchmark US crude rose $1.13 per barrel to $113.52 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell from $1.80 on Tuesday to $112.40.
Brent crude, the price basis for international oil trading, added 60 cents to $112.53 per barrel in London. It lost $2.31 the previous session to $111.93. The dollar declined to 129.17 yen from Tuesday’s 129.42 yen. The euro sank to $1.0531 from $1.0543.