BEIJING — Asian stock markets were mixed Wednesday after Wall Street rebounded and Japanese exports surged as investors tried to figure out how rising coronavirus infections will affect the global economy.
The Shanghai Composite Index
rose 0.6% while the Nikkei 225
in Tokyo added 0.5%. The Hang Seng
in Hong Kong sank 0.4% and the Kospi
in Seoul shed 0.2%.
Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200
advanced 1.1% after the Australian government reported retail sales rose 1.3% over a year ago in the three months ending in June. New Zealand
gained while Singapore
Japan’s government reported June exports jumped 48.5% over a year earlier, beating forecasts. The increase was inflated by a plunge in trade in 2020, but still reflects strong demand overseas, especially in the U.S. and China.
Also Wednesday, South Korea reported a daily high of 1,784 new coronavirus cases, adding to a global surge blamed on the virus’s more contagious delta variant.
Overnight, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index gained 1.5%, recovering much of the previous day’s loss.
“Defensive flows eased. However, gains are likely to be capped by lingering concerns over COVID-19′s Delta variant,” said Anderson Alves of ActivTrades in a report. “A new wave of infections could delay the reopening of global economies.”
On Wall Street, the S&P 500
rose to 4,323.06, recovering most of its 1.6% decline on Monday, its biggest in two months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 1.6% to 34,511.99. The Nasdaq composite
gained 1.6% to 14,498.88.
The U.S. market has gained ground in choppy trading despite uncertain about the lingering impact of the virus on business activity and inflation.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. oil
lost 51 cents to $66.69 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude
the price basis for international oils, shed 54 cents to $68.81 per barrel in London.
gained to 109.91 yen from Tuesday’s 109.83 yen.