Asian shares track Wall St gains as inflation fears subside

FILE - This July 6, 2015, file photo shows a sign for Wall Street carved into the side of a building in New York. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EST on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Asian shares have posted solid gains that mirrored Wall Street's advance as investor worries about inflation receded

HONG KONG — Asian shares posted solid gains on Thursday that mirrored Wall Street's advance as investors' worries over inflation receded, although trading was thinned by closures for the Lunar New Year holiday.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1.3 percent to 21,435.13 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 1.3 percent to 30,908.64. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.9 percent to 5,893.90. Markets in mainland China, South Korea and Taiwan were closed for the lunar new year holiday.

INFLATION: A report showed U.S. consumer prices climbed at a slightly faster pace than economists expected in January while a separate report on retail sales showed they were unchanged in December and slipped last month. Surprisingly, markets shrugged off the figures, suggesting investors are now much less concerned about inflation than they were earlier this month, when an upbeat wage growth report sent markets reeling over fears the Federal Reserve might start raising interest rates faster than anticipated earlier.

ANALYST TAKEAWAY: "Having just gone through the roller coaster of equity sell-off induced by bond yield rises, I am frankly at a loss to explain what is now happening now," said Rob Carnell, chief Asia economist at ING. "I can only assume that we are in a temporary lull before the turmoil returns," he added, noting that trading volumes have been lower in recent days, likely because traders are winding down for the Lunar New Year holiday in Asia and President's Day holiday in the U.S. on Monday.

WALL STREET: Major U.S. benchmarks rose for the fourth straight day. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1.3 percent to close 2,698.63. The Dow Jones industrial average added 1 percent to 24,893.49. The Nasdaq composite climbed 1.9 percent to 7,143.62.

CURRENCIES: The dollar was at a 15-month low, weakening to 106.64 yen from 106.94 yen in late trading Wednesday. The euro strengthened to $1.2452 from $1.2452.

ENERGY: U.S. benchmark crude oil rose 38 cents to $60.98 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.41, or 2.4 percent, to settle at $60.60 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 35 cents to $64.71 a barrel in London.

You may also like these

China says some factories have violated anti-smog...

Jan 3, 2017

China's environmental ministry says an unspecified number of companies have violated measures meant...

Asian shares mixed as investors consider latest...

Jan 5, 2017

Asian stock indexes mixed as investors assess latest Fed meeting minutes; Japan shares slip as yen...

China exports shrink as Trump trade tensions loom

Jan 13, 2017

China's exports fell back into contraction again last month, signaling renewed weakness for the...

China state media call Trump's Taiwan strategy...

Jan 16, 2017

China's state-run media says President-elect Donald Trump "speaks like a rookie" and called his...

'One China principle' not negotiable, China tells...

Jan 16, 2017

Responding to remarks by Donald Trump, China's Foreign Ministry says the country's "one-China...

Sign up now!

The Financial Capital is your independent source for finance information and advice. We provide insights and offer advice from financial experts so you can make the best decisions.

Contact us: sales[at]thefinancialcapital.com