Stock market today: Asian stocks mixed as Wall St inches against bull market

BANGKOK (AP) – Asian stocks were mixed Wednesday after a day of dull trading on Wall Street in the absence of market-moving data.

China reported its exports fell 7.5% from a year earlier in May and imports fell 4.5%, adding to signs of a softening of the economic recovery following the lifting in December of anti-virus controls that disrupted travel and trade.

The decline in exports was the first decline from the previous year in three months, and the export volume fell below the level at the beginning of the year. “And with the worst yet to come for many advanced economies, we think exports will slow further before bottoming out later this year,”[ads1]; Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a comment.

The Shanghai Composite index was almost unchanged at 3,195.88 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1% to 19,285.10.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index lost 0.8% to 32,234.21. In Seoul, the Kospi rose 0.3% to 2,623.20 while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.2% to 7,143.60. Stocks fell in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 rose 0.2% to 4,283.85. It’s just 0.2% away from ending 20% ​​above where it was in mid-October, as a long-predicted recession has yet to hit and excitement around artificial intelligence has helped a select group of stocks soar.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose less than 0.1% to 33,573.28, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4% to 13,276.42.

Gitlab surged 31.2% after the software development platform gave a revenue forecast for the fiscal year that topped analysts’ expectations.

Investors are looking to see which will happen first: a recession or inflation falling enough to prompt the Federal Reserve to start cutting interest rates, which have climbed so high they have hurt various parts of the economy.

Next week, the US government will publish its latest monthly updates on inflation and the Federal Reserve will meet on interest rate policy. The bet on Wall Street is that the Fed could hold off on raising rates, which would be the first time it has done so in more than a year, but could resume rate hikes in July.

Some of Tuesday’s strongest action was in the cryptocurrency world after the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Coinbase with operating its trading platform as an unregistered national stock exchange, broker and clearing agency.

Shares of its parent, Coinbase Global, fell 12.1% after the SEC also accused it of being responsible for some of Coinbase’s breaches. Other charges focused on Coinbase’s staking-as-a-service program, where users receive payments for their crypto almost like earning interest from a traditional bank savings account.

Coinbase criticized the SEC’s approach to crypto, saying “the solution is legislation that allows fair rules of the road to be developed transparently and applied equally, not litigation.”

A day earlier, the SEC filed 13 charges against another huge crypto trading platform, Binance, and its founder. Binance said it had been in discussions to reach a negotiated settlement to resolve the SEC’s investigations.

The AI ​​frenzy has helped a handful of stocks soar to huge gains this year, including Nvidia’s 164.5% rise. That has helped drive much of the S&P 500’s gains in 2023, but it has also prompted critics to question whether a bubble is forming. They also say the AI ​​furore may be masking weakness beneath the S&P 500’s surface.

Although the S&P 500 is approaching a bull market, almost as many stocks within it are down this year as up as concerns about falling corporate profits, still high inflation and much higher interest rates than a year ago.

In other trading Wednesday, U.S. crude fell 31 cents to $71.43 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Tuesday, it lost 41 cents to $71.74 a barrel. A barrel of Brent oil, the international standard, fell 36 cents to $75.93.

Both were near $120 a year ago, but have fallen on concerns about a strained global economy’s need for fuel.

The US dollar bought 139.24 Japanese yen, down from 139.66 yen. The euro fell to $1.0690 from $1.0695.


AP Business Writers Matt Ott, Stan Choe and Joe McDonald contributed.

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