Asian stocks rise on Monday as US markets prepare to start the week at record highs

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BEIJING (AP) – Asian stock markets rose on Monday after Wall Street hit a new high and China pledged aid to support economic growth.

Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong and Sydney moved forward this week ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting in which higher US inflation could influence the decision to start undoing stimulus measures that are boosting stock markets.

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Wall Street’s S&P 500 SPX benchmark,
+ 0.95%
closed Friday up 3.8% for the week in a rally led by tech companies.

Also on Friday, Chinese leaders pledged tax cuts and other aid to entrepreneurs at an annual planning meeting that focused on maintaining stability after economic growth slumped to a level unexpectedly 4.9% from a year earlier in the last quarter.

The ruling Communist Party wants to “avoid a hard landing” before the leadership changes at a meeting at the end of next year, Mizuho Bank’s Vishnu Varathan said in a report.

The Shanghai SHCOMP Composite Index,
+ 0.63%
rose 0.8% to 3,695.30 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong HSI,
+ 0.46%
gained 0.5% to 24,201.43.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo NIK,
+ 0.92%
rose 0.9% to 28,696.68 after the latest Tankan quarterly survey showed stronger than expected improvement in business conditions for service industries.

The Kospi in Seoul 180721,
-0.23%
added 0.5% at 3,025.19, and the Sydney S & P-ASX 200 XJO,
+ 0.35%
was 0.6% higher at 7,396.10.

The New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets also advanced.

On Wall Street during the last trading session of last week, the S&P 500 gained 1% to 4,712.02. It is up 25.5% over the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
+ 0.60%
rose 0.6% to 35,970.99. The Nasdaq Composite COMP,
+ 0.73%
increased 0.7% to 15,630.60.

Government data showed US consumer inflation topped a 39-year high of 6.8% in November. But the impact on the financial markets was limited because it was in line with expectations.

Rising inflation has prompted the Fed to step up the pace at which it is reducing bond purchases that pump money into the financial system. The Fed previously planned to raise interest rates ultra-low at the end of 2022, but investors now expect that to be postponed until mid-year.

On Friday, more than 70% of S&P 500 stocks rose. Oracle ORCL software publisher,
+ 15.61%
jumped 15.6% for the biggest gain in the index after posting strong quarterly results. Microsoft MSFT,
+ 2.83%
and Apple AAPL,
+ 2.80%
each increased by 2.8%.

Household goods manufacturers and retailers also helped raise the S&P 500. Costco COST,
+ 6.58%
climbed 6.6%, while Coca-Cola KO,
+ 2.59%
increased 2.6%.

On the energy markets, the American benchmark CL00 crude,
+ 1.55%
rose $ 1.15 to $ 72.82 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 73 cents to $ 71.67 on Friday. Brent crude BRN00,
+1.37%,
the basis of international trade oil prices, rose $ 1.16 to $ 76.31 per barrel in London. It gained 73 cents the previous session at $ 75.15 a barrel.

The dollar USDJPY,
+ 0.11%
won 113.55 yen against 113.43 yen on Friday. The euro EURUSD,
-0.19%
declined to $ 1.1297 from $ 1.1311.


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