Asian Shares Mixed After Wall Street Rally; Hong Kong Lower

A man wearing a mask walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan’s Nikkei 225 index, at a securities firm in Tokyo, Thursday. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Asian stocks were mixed after an upbeat open on Thursday, as investors pinned their hopes on an economic rebound from the coronavirus crisis.

Shares rose in Tokyo, Sydney and Mumbai but dropped in Hong Kong, where tensions are flaring over Beijing’s effort to exert more control over the former British colony.

The most recent developments are another thorn in a relationship already testy over China’s handling of the early stages of the coronavirus outbreaks and over longstanding trade and other antagonisms.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 1.8% to 22,885.13, while the Shanghai Composite index declined 0.4% to 2,824.49.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index advanced 1.7% to 21,671.28, lifted by the latest, $1.1 trillion, infusion of stimulus for Japan’s moribund economy. India’s Sensex gained 1.2% to 31,985.18 and the S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney climbed 1.4% to 5,855.40.

U.S. shares advanced overnight, with the S&P 500 closing over 3,000 points for the first time since early March. Financial, industrial, department store chains and health care stocks accounted for a big slice of the gains.

The movements followed up on strong gains in Europe, where authorities proposed a 750-billion euro ($825-billion) recovery fund to help carry the region through the recession caused by the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The benchmark S&P 500 ended a choppy day of trading up 1.5% at 3,036.13. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 2.2% to 25,548.27, its first close above 25,000 points since March.

The Nasdaq composite recovered from an early slide, adding 0.8% to 9,412.36. Small company stocks, which have lagged the broader market this year, were big gainers, with the Russell 2000 index surging 3.1% to 1,436.36.

“A steady stream of economic revival indications underpinned the latest rally on Wall Street, inducing the market to brush aside simmering tensions between the U.S. and China,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary.

Some big technology companies that had been stalwarts during the market’s sell-off took a step back Wednesday, which kept the market’s gains in check in the early going. Microsoft bounced back from a loss to finish with a gain of 0.1%, but Amazon fell 0.5% and Nvidia dropped 2.2%. All three remain up at least 15% for the year so far.

The S&P 500 is now down only 10.3% from its record high in February, before it plunged nearly 34% in March on sell-offs propelled by worries over the coming recession.

Gains first driven by massive stimulus from the Federal Reserve and Capitol Hill have accelerated recently on hopes growth will revive as governments ease up on business-shutdown orders meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

In other trading, bond yields were mixed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury held steady at 0.69%.

U.S. crude oil for delivery in July lost $1.23 to $31.58 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell $1.54 on Wednesday to settle at $32.81 per barrel.

July Brent crude, the international standard, gave up 83 cents to $34.62 per barrel.

The dollar bought 107.82 Japanese yen, up from 107.72 yen late Wednesday. The euro rose to $1.1010 from $1.1006.