BANGKOK (AP) — Asian stocks rose Wednesday after most stocks on Wall Street slipped following mixed reports about the U.S. economy.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.9% to 16,477.34, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.1% to 2,968.93.
The gains followed sell-offs the day before on concerns about the health of China’s economy, the world’s second-largest.
The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 2% to 33,445.90 after a senior central bank official reiterated the Bank of Japan’s determination to maintain its loose credit policy until stable inflation levels are reached.
In Seoul, the Kospi rose less than 0.1% to 2,495.38. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.7% to 7,178.40.
India’s Sensex gained 0.3% and Bangkok’s SET rose 0.7%.
On Tuesday, the S&P 500 fell slightly by 0.1%, posting its first consecutive loss since October. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.3%.
U.S. stocks and Treasury yields fluctuated after reports showed employers posted significantly fewer job openings than expected at the end of October, while growth at services companies accelerated more than expected last month.
That left open the question of whether the U.S. economy can pull off a perfect landing, mitigating high inflation but avoiding recession.
On Wall Street, KeyCorp fell 3.7%, leading bank stocks lower, after the company cut its forecast for income from fees and other non-interest income. But gains of more than 2% in Apple and Nvidia, two of the market’s most influential stocks, helped pare losses.
With inflation falling since its peak two summers ago, Wall Street is hoping the Federal Reserve is finally done with its market-shattering interest rate hikes and could soon move on to cutting rates. This could help the economy avoid recession and boost investment prices of all kinds.
Tuesday’s report showed that employers had posted just 8.7 million jobs on the last day of October, 617,000 fewer than the previous month and the lowest level since 2021.
A separate report said U.S. service industry activity increased for the 41st time in the past 42 months, with growth from agriculture to wholesale trade. Strength there offset weakness in manufacturing.
In the bond market, Treasury yields continued to fall from their highs reached at the end of October.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 4.19% from 4.26% late Monday, providing more headroom for stocks and other markets. In October it was above 5% and at its highest level in more than a decade.
Two-year Treasury yields, which are more in line with Fed expectations, rose sharply following the economic reports. The reading fell from 4.61% just before the reports were released to 4.57% and then fluctuated in lockstep before falling back to 4.55%.
Traders generally expect the Federal Reserve to hold interest rates steady at its next meeting next week before potentially cutting rates in March, according to data from CME Group.
Fed officials have recently suggested that the federal funds rate may actually have already peaked. It is over 5.25%, up from almost zero at the beginning of last year. But Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and others have also warned Wall Street not to overstate its forecasts of when a cut might occur.
Lower yields have been one of the reasons for the recent rise in cryptocurrency prices. Excitement over a possible exchange-traded fund tied to Bitcoin that would open it up to new types of investors has also helped push the price past $43,000 recently.
In other trading, U.S. benchmark crude oil rose 1 cent to $72.33 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 13 cents to $77.33 a barrel.
The US dollar fell to 147.04 Japanese yen from 147.15 yen. The euro slipped from $1.0797 to $1.0791.