Udayavni Special

Asian shares lower after Wall St rebound on US growth data

PTI, Jul 30, 2021, 1:46 PM IST

Bangkok: Asian shares and US futures were mostly lower Friday after stocks pushed broadly higher on Wall Street.

Japan reported relatively strong economic data for the previous quarter, before the government began tightening coronavirus restrictions as cases surged.

“Retail sales, industrial production and employment all rebounded strongly in June, pointing to a sizeable recovery in activity in between the alpha- and delta-driven coronavirus waves,” Capital Economics said in a report.

However, the current situation has Japanese officials sounding the alarm as Tokyo has reported record-breaking coronavirus cases for two straight days with the Olympics well underway.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said new cases are soaring across the country at an unprecedented magnitude.

Tokyo”s Nikkei 225 fell 1.8% to 27,283.59 while the Kospi in Seoul gave up 1.2% to 3,202.32. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong declined 1.8% to 25,834.96 and the Shanghai Composite index dropped 0.4% to 3,397.36.

Australia”s S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.3% lower to 7,392.60.

Shares edged higher in India and Singapore but fell elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.24% from 1.27% late Thursday.

Stocks on Wall Street bounced back from a two-day slide Thursday, placing the S&P 500 on pace for its second straight weekly gain. The S&P 500 index rose 0.4% to 4,419.15, powered by broad gains. It is just below its most recent record high.

The modest rally came as the latest government data showed continued economic growth and investors reviewed another batch of mostly positive corporate earnings reports.

Online brokerage Robinhood made an underwhelming debut on the Nasdaq, closing at $34.82, or 8.4% below its offering price of $38, which was the low end of its expected range.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4% to 35,084.53, while the Nasdaq added 0.1%, to 14,778.26. The Dow and Nasdaq also hovered just below their record highs set on Monday.

Helping ease some concerns on Wall Street about the pace of the economic recovery, the Commerce Department said the US economy grew at a solid 6.5% annual rate last quarter. The economy”s total size has now surpassed its pre-pandemic level. It also revised its figures for 2020, showing that the economy contracted by a slightly smaller amount than previously reported.

The latest GDP figure fell short of economists forecasts for 8.5% growth, but investors largely brushed off the wide miss.

There also was encouraging news on the broader employment picture, which has tended to lag the rest of the recovery. Claims for unemployment benefits dropped by 24,000 to 400,000 last week, the Labour Department reported.

Yum Brands, which owns KFC and Taco Bell, rose 6.3% after strong customer demand helped it handily beat Wall Street”s profit and revenue forecasts. Ford rose 3.8% after the automaker reported a surprise second-quarter profit on sales of its pickup trucks and SUVs.

Facebook fell 4% and weighed down the S&P 500”s communications sector after it warned of slower growth through the rest of the year.

Amazon skidded 6.2% in extended trading after the internet retail giant reported mixed results for the second quarter after the market closed.

In other trading, US benchmark crude oil lost 49 cents to $73.13 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude oil declined 54 cents to $74.56.

The US dollar rose to 109.59 Japanese yen from 109.48 yen on Thursday. The euro fell to $1.1886 from $1.1889.

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