Asia Stocks Mixed After Wall Street Rebound

BEIJING (AP) -
A Chinese investor reads a newspaper as he monitors stock prices at a brokerage house in Beijing. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Asian stocks were mixed Friday after Wall Street rebounded on investor hopes for a U.S. interest-rate cut.

Tokyo and Sydney gained while Hong Kong declined and Seoul was unchanged.

U.S. stocks pulled out of a two-day skid sparked by unexpectedly weak manufacturing and hiring data. Markets were hit again Thursday by a survey showing weaker-than-forecast growth in U.S. service industries, but investor hopes were buoyed by growing expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut rates again to shore up economic activity.

“Increased hopes for further interest rate cuts by the Fed look to help stabilize markets,” said Jingyi Pan of IG in a report.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.3% to 21,398.43 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.5% to 25,969.34.

Seoul’s Kospi was unchanged at 2,032.50 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 added 0.4% to 6,521.00.

India’s Sensex advanced 0.5% to 38,286.74. New Zealand gained while Singapore declined and Taiwan was unchanged.

On Wall Street, shares were boosted Thursday by strength in technology industries.

Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.8% to 2,910.63. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.5% to 26,201.04. The Nasdaq, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, climbed 1.1% to 7,872.26.

Microsoft Corp. climbed 1.2%. Chip makers were among the sector’s biggest gainers. Nvidia rose 4.8% and Micron Technology added 3.5%.

Health care, communication services and industrial stocks also helped power the rebound. Pfizer rose 2.2%, Facebook gained 2.7% and Boeing rose 1.3%.

Investors are wrestling with uncertainty about the economy and the impact of a U.S.-Chinese tariff war.

Adding to their unease, the Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, said its nonmanufacturing index sank to 52.6 from 56.4 in August. Readings above 50 signal growth, but September’s figures are the lowest since August 2016.

Services account for more than two-thirds of the U.S. economy and have been resilient in the face of the tariff war that is squeezing manufacturers.

The Fed has lowered rates by a quarter-percentage point twice this year in a bid to shield the economy from slowing growth abroad and the effects of the trade war. Investors put the odds that the Fed will cut rates again at the end of this month at above 88%, according to the CME Group.

The federal government is due to release its own snapshot of the job market on Friday. The Labor Department is expected to report that employers added 145,000 jobs last month, up from 130,00 in August, according to analysts polled by FactSet.