Lending markets

Asian markets rise, thanks to the latest Wall Street rally

TOKYO — Asian stocks rose on Friday amid mixed signs for investors such as rising energy prices and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in China.

Trade was closed in China for the Dragon Boat Festival, a national holiday. Benchmarks in the rest of the region rose slightly, encouraged by an overnight rally on Wall Street.

Market participants are watching closely for non-farm payrolls data in the US later today, as well as a slew of economic data out of Japan next week. The OPEC meeting, in which oil-producing countries decided to increase part of their production, failed to stabilize energy prices significantly.

“To say that the outcome of the OPEC meeting disappointed expectations would be an understatement,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management.

Japan and the United States have signed a revised “beef safeguard” mechanism under the U.S.-Japan trade deal that will help U.S. beef producers meet growing demand from the Japan made of high quality beef. The deal will reduce the chances of Japan’s safeguard duties being imposed on U.S. beef, the two sides said. It happened in early 2021.

“Together, the United States and Japan demonstrate their commitment to working together on shared priorities to achieve concrete and economically meaningful results for our people,” said U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

The Japanese reference Nikkei 225 NIK,
+1.10%
jumped 1.1% in morning trading. Australian S&P/ASX 200 XJO,
+0.66%
added 0.8%, while South Korea’s Kospi 180721,
+0.32%
gained 0.3%. Benchmarks in Singapore STI,
-0.01%
and Indonesia JAKIDX,
+0.80%
Advanced.

Wall Street stocks overcame a shaky start to close broadly higher on Thursday, as major indexes more than offset losses at the start of the holiday-shortened week.

The S&P 500 SPX,
+1.84%
rose 1.8% to 4,176.82, with more than 85% of stocks in the benchmark index gaining. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
+1.33%
rose 1.3% to 33,248.28, while the Nasdaq COMP,
+2.69%
climbed 2.7% to 12,316.90.

Trading has been choppy in recent days as investors remain concerned about inflation and the interest rate hikes the Federal Reserve is using to fight it. Thursday’s market rally may have been spurred, in part, by a report showing private sector hiring well below economists’ forecasts.

“The private payroll report was quite weak,” said Tom Hainlin, national investment strategist at US Bank Wealth Management. “Maybe this is one of those environments where people are looking for weak data that gives them hope that the Fed will pause (rate hikes) in September.”

Rising energy prices have fueled inflation, which is already at its highest level in four decades. Gasoline prices in the United States hit a new high The average price at the pump on Thursday was $4.71 a gallon, according to the Federation of Automobile Clubs AAA.

Wall Street will get another glimpse into the health of the broader US economy on Friday when the Labor Department releases its jobs report for May. The labor market was initially slow to recover from the impact of the virus pandemic, but rebounded strongly with low unemployment rate and many job vacancies.

Meanwhile, high inflation eats away at corporate earnings, while the war in Ukraine and China COVID-19 Restrictions also weighed on the markets.

Bond yields have been relatively stable. The 10-year Treasury yield, which helps set interest rates on mortgages and other loans, fell to 2.91% from 2.93% late Wednesday.

In energy trading, the US crude benchmark CLN22,
-0.24%
fell 23 cents to $116.64 a barrel. Brent crude BRNQ22,
-0.10%,
the international standard, fell 12 cents to $117.49 a barrel.

In currency trading, the US dollar USDJPY,
-0.01%
fell to 129.82 Japanese yen from 129.87 yen.