Asian shares track Wall St gains as inflation fears subside - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Asian shares track Wall St gains as inflation fears subside

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File). 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). 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.

By KELVIN CHAN
AP Business Writer

HONG KONG (AP) - Asian shares posted solid gains on Thursday that mirrored Wall Street's advance as investors' worries over inflation receded, although trading was thinning as markets closed for Lunar New Year holidays.

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.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • NationalMore>>

  • Indictment of Missouri governor could have political ripples

    Indictment of Missouri governor could have political ripples

    Saturday, February 24 2018 9:15 AM EST2018-02-24 14:15:50 GMT
    Saturday, February 24 2018 11:01 AM EST2018-02-24 16:01:19 GMT
    It didn't take long after Greitens was indicted for alleged invasion of privacy for Missouri Democrats to tie him to Attorney General Josh Hawley. (Source: AP Photos)It didn't take long after Greitens was indicted for alleged invasion of privacy for Missouri Democrats to tie him to Attorney General Josh Hawley. (Source: AP Photos)

    The indictment of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on felony invasion of privacy charges could have political implications beyond his office.

    More >>

    The indictment of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on felony invasion of privacy charges could have political implications beyond his office.

    More >>
  • US lands agency makeover would diminish Washington's power

    US lands agency makeover would diminish Washington's power

    Friday, February 23 2018 10:45 AM EST2018-02-23 15:45:44 GMT
    Saturday, February 24 2018 11:01 AM EST2018-02-24 16:01:14 GMT
    U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has changed a proposed overhaul of his department with a new organizational map that more closely follows state lines instead of the natural boundaries he initially proposed.More >>
    U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has changed a proposed overhaul of his department with a new organizational map that more closely follows state lines instead of the natural boundaries he initially proposed.More >>
  • Greitens blames politics, but even some in GOP concerned

    Greitens blames politics, but even some in GOP concerned

    Friday, February 23 2018 8:04 AM EST2018-02-23 13:04:51 GMT
    Saturday, February 24 2018 11:01 AM EST2018-02-24 16:01:12 GMT
    (St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP). A booking photo provided by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department shows Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.  A St. Louis grand jury has indicted Greit...(St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP). A booking photo provided by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department shows Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. A St. Louis grand jury has indicted Greit...
    Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is defiant, even amid calls for impeachment or resignation, after a St. Louis grand jury indicts him for felony invasion of privacy.More >>
    Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is defiant, even amid calls for impeachment or resignation, after a St. Louis grand jury indicts him for felony invasion of privacy.More >>
Powered by Frankly