Stock market today: Asian shares gain despite Wall Street’s tech-led retreat

Asian shares rose on Thursday even as falling tech stocks sent Wall Street lower in the S&The P500’s worst losing streak since the beginning of the year.

US futures were lower while oil prices rose.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo climbed 0.3% to 38,079.70 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 1.3% to 16,468.07.

The Shanghai Composite index rose 0.6% to 3,089.02.

South Korea’s Kospi led the gains in the region, rising 2.2% to 2,642.02.

In Australia the S&The P/ASX 500 rose 0.4% to 7,638.10.

On Wednesday the S&P500 lost 0.6% to 5,022.21. It has fallen 4.4% since a record was set late last month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1% to 37,753.31, and the Nasdaq composite fell 1.1% to 15,683.37.

Technology stocks tumbled after ASML, a Dutch company that is a major supplier to the semiconductor industry, reported weaker orders for early 2024 than analysts expected. Stock trading in the United States fell 7.1%.

Nvidia fell 3.9% and Broadcom fell 3.5%, serving as the two heaviest weights on the S&P500.

The weakness for technology overshadowed stronger-than-expected earnings reports from some major companies, including United Airlines. It rose 17.4% after reporting stronger year-to-date results than analysts expected, thanks to strong demand from business flyers.

The sharp declines in oil prices eased investor concerns about inflation, which in turn helped ease government bond yields.

The yield on ten-year government bonds fell from 4.67% at the end of Tuesday to 4.58%. The two-year yield, which is more in line with expectations for the Fed, fell from 4.99% to 4.92%.

Yields had returned to November levels on Tuesday after top Federal Reserve officials suggested the central bank may hold its key interest rate steady for a while. It wants to gain more confidence that inflation will sustainably move towards the 2% target. The key interest rate is at its highest level since 2001.

High interest rates hurt investment prices and increase the risk of a recession, but Fed officials are concerned after a series of reports this year show inflation remains higher than forecast.

Traders now typically expect only one or two rate cuts from the Federal Reserve this year, data from CME Group shows. That’s down from predictions for six or more at the start of the year.

With little help expected from a rate cut in the short term, companies will need to post bigger profits to justify their big share price gains since the fall.

The number of travelers fell by 7.4% after the insurer’s quarterly results fell short of expectations. It suffered more losses due to catastrophes.

JB Hunt Transport Services fell 8.1% after weaker than expected sales and results. It was hit in part by competition in the eastern part of the country and by higher employee wages and other costs.

On the winning side of Wall Street was Omnicom Group. It rose 1.6% after reporting stronger earnings for the latest quarter than analysts expected. The marketing and communications company highlighted growth trends in most markets around the world, outside the Middle East and Africa.

Shares of Donald Trump’s social media company also continued to swing sharply, this time up 15.6%. That followed two consecutive losses of more than 14%. Experts say the shares are engaged in frenzied trading, driven more by public sentiment surrounding the former president than the company’s business prospects.

In oil trading, U.S. crude rose 8 cents to $82.77 a barrel. It had lost $2.67 on Wednesday.

Brent crude, the international standard, rose 16 cents to $87.45 a barrel.

The US dollar fell from 154.38 yen to 154.12 Japanese yen. The euro rose from $1.0673 to $1.0689.