Asian stocks are mostly up after a turbulent day on Wall Street

Asian stocks posted moderate gains on Thursday after Wall Street stabilized after a sell-off in tech stocks the day before.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 1% to 26,642.88 after the Bank of Japan concluded a policy meeting with no major changes, maintaining its interest rate stance near zero despite a sharp weakening of the yen against the dollar and the rising cost of many imported products.

The dollar rose to 129.70 Japanese yen after the BOJ’s policy announcement, which indicated the central bank remained committed to maintaining ultra-loose lending conditions to help support the sluggish economy. It traded at 128.43 yen on Wednesday night.

The US Federal Reserve began raising interest rates to counter soaring inflation and investors sold yen to seek higher returns in dollar-denominated assets.

China’s benchmarks recovered from steep declines as officials highlighted efforts to counter the impact of pandemic shutdowns in many cities.

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.6% to 2,975.28 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1.4% to 20,218.39.

Strict lockdown measures in China have added to concerns about slowing growth due to damage to the world’s second-largest economy. The flow of industrial goods has been disrupted by the suspension of access to Shanghai, home to the world’s busiest port, and other industrial cities including Changchun and Jilin in northeast China.

Beijing has been carrying out mass testing this week as it decides how much control to impose in the capital.

Elsewhere, the Kospi in Seoul added 0.5% to 2,953.09. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1% to 7,333.50.

Wall Street ended Wednesday with a lackluster finish as traders braced for more earnings reports from big US companies this week.

The S&P 500 saw most of a midday rally evaporate and ended with a gain of just 0.2% to 4,183.96. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also added 0.2%, to 33,301.93. The Nasdaq was barely changed at 12,488.93, while the Russell 2000 fell 0.3% to 1,884.04.

The indices rallied from a strong finish late Monday only to tumble Tuesday. They are all down 1.5% or more so far this week.

Software giant Microsoft rose 4.8% after reporting strong earnings for its latest quarter. Payment processing giant Visa jumped 6.5% after reporting a surge in profits fueled by a surge in spending on the company’s namesake credit and debit card network.

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, fell 3.7%, after posting its weakest quarterly revenue growth since 2020. Facebook’s parent company Meta Platforms jumped 14.6% in trading after the office hours after its latest quarterly results, which beat Wall Street estimates.

Investors also focused on earnings from industrial companies and various retailers. Boeing fell 7.5% after reporting a loss much worse than Wall Street expected. Chipotle rose 2.6% after posting strong financial results.

Twitter, Apple and Amazon will release their results on Thursday.

The latest round of corporate earnings comes amid lingering concerns over rising inflation and central bank plans to raise interest rates to blunt the impact of rising costs on businesses and consumers. Investors are studying how companies have fared in the face of supply chain issues and rising costs and how consumers are coping with higher prices for everything from food to clothing and gasoline.

Natural gas prices jumped 24% in the past day in Europe and the euro weakened after Russia announced it would cut supplies to Poland and Bulgaria. Natural gas and oil prices were already rising as the pandemic subsided and demand grew, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine added to the price hike. Crude oil and natural gas prices have surged in 2022, driving up gasoline and heating costs.

Oil prices fell on Thursday. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell $1.27 to $100.75 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It took 32 cents on Wednesday to $102.02 a barrel.

Brent crude, the standard for international oil pricing, fell $1.41 to $103.54 a barrel.

The euro fell from $1.0560 to $1.0540.


AP Business Writers Damian J. Troise and Alex Veiga contributed.

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