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Asia shares rise as investors shrug off Wall Street decline

Wall Street

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.2% to 38,119.96, the Kospi in Seoul added 0.4% to 2,646.44, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed 1.2% to 18,446.05, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.3% at 3,099.72, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.5% to 7,668.90

Asian shares were higher on Friday as investors shrugged off yet another decline on Wall Street, while an official survey showed a weakening in Chinese factory activity.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.2% to 38,119.96 and the Kospi in Seoul added 0.4% to 2,646.44.

Chinese shares gained despite the survey showing further pressure on an economy already burdened by a protracted crisis in the property industry. But negative indicators often fuel speculation that they will lead Beijing to counter with growth-friendly policies.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed 1.2% to 18,446.05 and the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.3% to 3,099.72.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.5% to 7,668.90.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 dipped 0.6% to 5,235.48, even though the majority of stocks within the index and across Wall Street were up. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.9% to 38,111.48, and the Nasdaq composite dropped 1.1% to 16,737.08.

Friday will bring a monthly update on a gauge of inflation that the Fed prefers to use. The tail end of earnings reporting is another driver for the market. Profits have largely been better than expected for the start of 2024.

Salesforce shed around a fifth of its value after reporting weaker revenue for the latest quarter than analysts expected. Its shares dipped 19.7%.

Kohl’s dropped even more, 22.9%, after reporting a surprise loss for the latest quarter when analysts were expecting to see a profit.

And Nvidia ran out of momentum, dropping 3.8% after surpassing analysts’ expectations in its latest profit report, which heightened Wall Street’s frenzy around AI technology.

Helping to support the market were better-than-expected profit reports from a range of firms. Best Buy topped forecasts even though its revenue dropped short last quarter, and its stock gained 13.4%. Foot Locker added 15% after likewise reporting better-than-expected profit despite sales which fell short of analysts’ forecasts.

Stocks also broadly got a boost from easing Treasury yields in the bond market, providing relief after they had jumped earlier this week on concerns about weak demand for Treasury bonds following several U.S. government auctions. Higher yields put downward pressure on all kinds of investments.

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