HomeTop StoriesAsian markets trail Wall St after China pledges to support economy

Asian markets trail Wall St after China pledges to support economy

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets trailed Wall Street higher on Tuesday after China’s ruling Communist Party pledged to prop up its sagging economy ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting that traders hope will herald the latest hike of this interest rate cycle.

Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Sydney advanced. Tokyo refused. Oil prices rose.

China’s ruling party on Monday promised measures to boost sluggish economic growth by supporting property sales and other struggling sectors, but did not provide details or mention possible stimulus spending.

Any stimulus is “likely to be insignificant” while Beijing is taking a “gradual and targeted approach,” Fidelity International’s Andrew McCaffery said in a report

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 2% to 3,226.95 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 3.2% to 19,268.04.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo lost 0.3% to 32,598.91 while the Kospi in Seoul rose less than 0.1% to 2,629.26. The S&P ASX 200 in Sydney gained 0.4% to 7,335.40.

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The Indian Sensex opened less than 0.1% at 66,403.69. New Zealand declined while Southeast Asian markets advanced.

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index rose 0.4% on Monday ahead of this week’s Federal Reserve meeting.

The S&P 500 rose to 4,554.64 points. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.5% at 35,411.24 and the Nasdaq Index gained 0.2% at 14,058.87.

Traders are expecting the Fed to announce another hike in benchmark rates on Wednesday, to a 22-year high. But they hope this will be the last increase this year after inflation has fallen near multi-decade highs.

Markets are hoping that the Fed can complete the challenging feat of a “soft landing,” or inflation quench, without sending the US economy into recession.

Traders had at least expected a brief recession to begin this quarter. But they pushed back the timing and size of the expected slump after US recruitment and consumer spending remained unexpectedly strong.

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About 30% of S&P 500 companies will tell investors this week how much they made from April through June.

These include tech giants Alphabet, Meta Platforms and Microsoft.

Those are three of the seven stocks that accounted for most of the S&P 500’s gains in the first half of this year. Each is up at least 37% this year. They will have to deliver strong numbers to justify their big rallies.

The market’s top stocks have grown so large and their movements are impacting the market to such an extent that Nasdaq rebalanced its Nasdaq 100 index before trading began Monday, to lessen the impact of some stocks on the overall index.

A report on Monday suggested that US services sectors are growing, but at a slower pace than forecast.

S&P Global’s preliminary report also suggested that US manufacturing is not doing as badly as feared. Overall, business activity growth in July appears to be at its lowest level in five months.

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In energy markets, benchmark US crude rose 20 cents to $78.94 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.67 to $78.74 on Monday. Brent crude, the price base for international oil trade, rose 15 cents to $82.63 a barrel in London. It gained $1.67 to $82.74 the previous session.

The dollar was little changed at 141.45 yen. The euro rose from $1.1071 to $1.1075.

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