Asia-Pacific shares rose, many markets closed for the Lunar New Year

Members of the Chinese Youth League perform a lion dance for onlookers at the Haymarket on January 21, 2023 in Sydney, Australia.

Lisa Maree Williams | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Stocks were higher in Asia on Monday, but most markets were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday and Shanghai markets were closed all week.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 the index added 1.1% to 26,852.85 and S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney rose 0.1% to 7,456.90. The gains followed a rally in tech stocks on Friday that countered concerns about a weakening U.S. economy.

In another trade, US benchmark crude oil lost 35 cents to $81.29 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Stock Exchange. On Friday, it rose by $1.03 to $81.64 per barrel.

Brent oilthe reference price for international trade, fell by 40 cents to 87.23 dollars per barrel.

The US dollar fell to 129.14 Japanese yen from 129.59 yen. The Euro rose to $1.0905 from $1.0868.

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On Friday, S&P 500 increased by 1.9% to 3,972.61. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by 1% to 33,375.49. The Nasdaq added 2.7% to 11,140.43.

Small-cap stocks also posted solid gains. The Russell 2000 index increased by 1.7%, ending at 1,867.34.

Despite the gains, the benchmark index still ended with its first weekly loss in three.

Technology and communications services stocks led big gains as investors cheered another big quarterly increase in Netflix subscribers.

Gains for technology-oriented stocks accounted for a large portion of Friday’s S&P 500 rally. Google’s parent company, Alphabet said he was cutting costs by laying off 12,000 workers. Its shares jumped 5.3%.

Netflix reported an increase in subscribers and saw its stock jump 8.5%.

Major indexes started the week in the red largely on concerns that the economy may not be able to escape a scarring recession. Several reports on the economy came in weaker than expected, as the full weight of last year’s Federal Reserve rate hike began to make its way through the system.

Fed Governor Christopher Waller said on Friday that he favors a hike of just a quarter of a point on February 1, when the central bank releases its next interest rate policy update. Waller also said rates are already high enough to slow the economy. The remarks could have helped calm concerns about rising rates in the market.

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