Today: March 04, 2024
Today: March 04, 2024

Stock market today: Asian shares are mostly higher after the Dow hits a record high, US dollar falls

Share This
Stock market today: Asian shares are mostly higher after the Dow hits a record high, US dollar falls
AP
ELAINE KURTENBACH
December 12, 2023

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares are mostly higher in Asia after a powerful rally across Wall Street sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a record high as the Federal Reserve indicated that interest rate cuts are likely next year.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 fell, however, as the yen gained sharply against the U.S. dollar, since a weaker dollar can hit the profits of Japanese exporters when they are brought back to Japan.

The Nikkei lost 1% to 32,594.89 while the dollar slipped from about 145 yen to 141.42 yen, its lowest level in four months. The value of the dollar tends to mirror expectations for interest rates, which affect returns on certain kinds of investments.

Toyota Motor Corp.'s shares fell 4.2% and Sony Corp. lost 2.3%. Honda Motor Co. shed 5.2%.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index climbed 1.1% to 16,408.26 and the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.3% at 2,977.56.

A World Bank report forecast that the Chinese economy will post 5.2% annual growth this year but that it will slow sharply to 4.5% in 2024. The report said the recovery of the world's second largest economy from the setbacks of the COVID-19 pandemic was still “fragile.”

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.6% to 7,373.70 and the Kospi in Seoul advanced 1.1% to 2,536.94. India's Sensex was up 1.1% and the SET in Bangkok also gained 1.1%.

On Wednesday, the Dow jumped 512 points, or 1.4%, to 37,090.24. The S&P 500 rose 1.4% to within reach of its own record, closing at 4,707.09. The Nasdaq composite also gained 1.4%, to 14,733.96.

Wall Street loves lower rates because they relax pressure on the economy and goose prices for all kinds of investments. Markets have been rallying since October as investors began hoping that cuts may be on the way.

Rate cuts particularly help investments seen as expensive, lower quality or that force their investors to wait the longest for big growth. Some of Wednesday’s bigger winners were bitcoin, which rose nearly 4%, and the Russell 2000 index of small U.S. stocks, which jumped 3.5%.

Apple was the strongest force pushing upward on the S&P 500, rising 1.7% to its own record close. It and other Big Tech stocks have been among the biggest reasons for the S&P 500’s 22.6% rally this year.

The Federal Reserve held its main interest rate steady at a range of 5.25% to 5.50%, as was widely expected. That's up from virtually zero early last year. It's managed to bring inflation down from its peak of 9% while the economy has remained solid.

In a press conference Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said its main interest rate is likely already at or near its peak. He acknowledged, however, that inflation is still too high. Powell said Fed officials don’t want to wait too long before cutting the federal funds rate, which is at its highest level since 2001.

“We’re aware of the risk that we would hang on too long” before cutting rates, he said. “We know that’s a risk, and we’re very focused on not making that mistake.”

Prices at the wholesale level were just 0.9% higher in November than a year earlier, the government reported Wednesday. That was softer than economists expected.

Treasury yields tumbled in the bond market. The yield on the 10-year Treasury dropped to 3.98% early Thursday from 4.21% late Tuesday. It was above 5% in October, at its highest level since 2007. The two-year yield, which moves more on expectations for the Fed, sank to 4.43% from 4.73%.

In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 14 cents to $69.61 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It picked up 86 cents to $69.47 on Wednesday.

Brent crude, the international standard, was up 25 cents at $74.51 per barrel.

The euro rose to $1.0904 from $1.0876.

___

AP Business Writer Stan Choe contributed.

Popular

Tesla shares skid after February China sales slump

By Hyunjoo Jin San Francisco (Reuters) - Shares of Tesla fell more than 7% on Monday after its sales slumped in February in China, where it faced rising competition and a slowdown during the Lunar New

Judge rejects Sen. Bob Menendez's claims that search warrants in bribery case were unconstitutional

A federal judge has rejected U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez's claims that search warrants leading to corruption charges and the discovery of gold bars and cash at his New Jersey home were unconstitutional

Apple to pay C$14.4 million to settle iPhone throttling case in Canada, CBC reports

OTTAWA (Reuters) - A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has approved a proposed C$14.4 million ($10.6 million) settlement from Apple to eligible members of a class-action lawsuit that accused the

Houston holds tight grip on No. 1, Kansas drops out of top 10 for first time in 3 years

Houston still has a tight grip on No. 1 in the AP Top 25 while Kansas is out of the top 10 for the first time in three seasons

Brothers Travis and Jason Kelce honored with bobblehead giveaway at Cavs-Celtics game

Taylor Swift’s boyfriend has taken shaking it off to another level

Takeaways from Trump's Supreme Court win on procedural grounds: His legal peril is just starting

:Former President Donald Trump scored a clear win at the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, which unanimously ruled that states don’t have the ability to bar him — or any other federal candidates — from the ballot under a rarely-used constitutional provision that prohibits those who “engaged in insurrection” from holding office

Related

Nippon Steel exec to meet USW head to seek support for U.S. Steel deal

By Yuka Obayashi and Ritsuko Shimizu TOKYO (Reuters) - A senior Nippon Steel executive told Reuters he is set to meet the United Steelworkers (USW) union chief this month to seek support for acquiring

First over-the-counter birth control pill in US begins shipping to stores

The first over-the-counter birth control pill will be available in U.S. stores later this month

Ohio foundation begins process to distribute millions in opioid settlement money

Ohio is ready to begin doling out hundreds of millions of dollars in opioid settlement money to community and government organizations

American Airlines to buy 260 new planes from Airbus, Boeing and Embraer to meet growing demand

American Airlines is ordering 260 new planes to meet growing travel demand and increase the airline’s supply of premium seats

- Advertisement -
Advertisement: Limited Time Offer