Asian Stocks Follow Wall Street Higher After Strong Results

BEIJING (AP) -
Men walk past an electronic stock board showing Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index at a securities firm in Tokyo Friday. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Most Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher on Friday after reports of strong U.S. earnings, as investors watched the inter-Korean summit.

The Shanghai Composite Index sank 0.6 percent to 3,057.27 while Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.5 percent to 22,441.28. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 0.2 percent to 30,055.84 and Seoul’s Kospi added 0.6 percent to 2,490.64. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 climbed 0.5 percent to 5,939.40 and India’s Sensex gained 0.7 percent to 34,965.66. Benchmarks in New Zealand, Taiwan and Southeast Asia also rose.

Stocks climbed as Facebook led a rally by technology companies. Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks and United Parcel Service reported higher first-quarter profits. Strong results from companies including Chipotle Mexican Grill and O’Reilly Automotive helped retailers and other consumer-focused companies. Energy companies also climbed. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 1 percent to 2,666.94. The Dow Jones industrial average added 1 percent to 24,322.34. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite advanced 1.6 percent to 7,118.68.

The head of the European Central Bank says recent signs of weakening economic growth are grounds for caution but not worrisome enough yet to consider changing the bank’s stimulus and interest-rate policy. Mario Draghi said that data point to “some moderation” in growth in the 19 countries that use the euro, while remaining “consistent with a broad-based expansion.” Draghi noted the potential for damage from tensions over trade, which have grown since U.S. President Donald Trump announced tariffs on some imports.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 19 cents to $68.00 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 14 cents on Thursday to close at $68.19. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 22 cents to $73.66 per barrel in London. It jumped 65 cents the previous session to $73.88.

The dollar declined to 109.17 yen from Thursday’s 109.29 yen. The euro edged up to $1.2110 from $1.2104.