Asian Shares Rise Despite U.S. Bank Woes

Asian stocks ended Thursday’s session mostly higher, as a string of strong tech earnings offset lingering concerns about the U.S. banking sector.

After Google parent Alphabet and Microsoft, Meta managed to reverse a downward spiral for the first quarter of 2023.

The dollar extended declines, helping gold prices scale above $2,000 per ounce ahead of the release of U.S. first quarter economic growth data later in the day.

Oil prices rose in Asian trading after having dropped by almost 4 percent to reach a one-month low in the previous session despite data showing a significant fall in U.S. crude inventories.

Chinese shares rose notably after a recent string of losses despite better-than-expected economic data. The benchmark Shanghai Composite climbed 0.7 percent to 3,285.88.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.4 percent to 19,840.29, rebounding from a four-week low ahead of key earnings reports.

Japanese shares recovered from an early slide to close slightly higher as investors braced for Governor Kazuo Ueda’s first policy meeting.

The Nikkei 225 Index edged up 0.2 percent to 28,457.68, while the broader Topix settled 0.4 percent higher at 2,032.51. Automakers Honda Motor, Nissan and Toyota Motor rose over 1 percent eac, while Advantest lost 9.2 percent after projecting a profit drop.

Seoul stocks snapped a five-day losing streak, as investors reacted to upbeat tech business results from the U.S. The Kospi climbed 0.4 percent to 2,495.81, led by large-cap tech shares.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.8 percent after it forecast a gradual recovery for semiconductors in the second half of this year. Top chipmaker SK Hynix advanced 1.6 percent.

Australian markets ended lower for a fifth straight session as concerns about U.S. banks weighed on shares of local lenders. Mining stocks rebounded from recent losses, helping limit the downside in the broader market.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index dipped 0.3 percent to 7,292.70, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended 0.3 percent lower at 7,482.20.

Syrah Resources plunged 9.5 percent after the company said it expects $539 million in total installed capital cost to expand a Louisiana-based facility that produces graphite-based active anode material.

Vitamin maker Blackmores jumped 22.8 percent on receiving a A$1.88 billion ($1.24 billion) offer from Japan’s Kirin Holdings.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index slipped 0.1 percent to end at 11,918.22.

U.S. stocks ended mixed overnight, while the dollar dipped, as investors weighed upbeat tech earnings against ongoing turmoil in the regional banking sector and congressional wrangling over raising the federal debt ceiling.

New data showed that orders for core capital goods fell more than expected in March, adding to recession worries.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite bounced off its lowest closing level in almost a month to close half a percent higher, while the Dow dropped 0.7 percent and the S&P 500 shed 0.4 percent.

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