BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets rose Wednesday after Wall Street hit a high following an uptick in U.S. inflation and an order by regulators to suspend use of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine.
Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Sydney rose, while Tokyo was off less than 0.5%.
On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index closed 0.3% higher in choppy trading. Tech and consumer stocks gained on optimism the vaccine rollout will allow business activity to return to normal. J&J declined after U.S. regulators suspended use of its single-dose vaccine to investigate possibly dangerous blood clots.
The U.S. government reported consumer prices increased by a stronger-than-expected 0.6% in March, the fastest rate since 2012. Higher inflation normally fuels fears interest rates might be raised to keep prices stable, but the Federal Reserve has said the economy will be allowed to “run hot” to ensure a recovery is in place.
The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury fell to to 1.62% from Monday’s 1.67%. JPMorgan Chase fell 1.2% and Wells Fargo lost 2.4%.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose 39 cents to $60.57 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract advanced 48 cents on Tuesday to close at $60.18. Brent crude, the international price standard, gained 43 cents to $64.10 per barrel in London. It added 39 cents the pervious session to $63.67 a barrel.
The dollar declined to 108.87 yen from Tuesday’s 109.09 yen. The euro rose to $1.1961 from the previous sessions’s $1.1946.