Asian markets mostly higher after Wall Street rally

Asian markets mostly higher after Wall Street rally

TOKYO AP - Asian shares were mostly higher Thursday after a rally on Wall Street, as worries over banks fell in recent weeks.

As investors turned their attention to how central banks might adjust their interest rate policies in response to concerns about how higher rates might affect lenders, forceful actions by regulators have helped calm markets.

Japan's benchmark, Nikkei 225, fell by 0.5% to 27,740. Australia's S&P ASX 200 added 1.0% to 7,122. South Korea's Kospi went up 0.7% to 2,459. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained by 0.4% to 20,266. The Shanghai Composite increased by 0.6% to 3,259. Premier Li Qiang, Premier Li Qiang, said the recovery picked up pace in March after a long slowdown.

In January and February, the economy showed encouraging signs of rebounding, said Li at the Boao Forum for Asia, a gathering of businesspeople and politicians on the southern island of Hainan.

He said that the situation in March is even better.

The S&P 500 was up 1.4% on Wednesday, to 4,027, according to Wall Street. It's the fourth gain in the last five days, and it's 81. The Dow Jones Industrial Average went up 1% to 32,717. The Nasdaq composite went up 1.8% to 11,926, while the Nasdaq composite went up 1.8%. The month has been dominated by worries about banks and whether the industry is cracking under the pressure of higher interest rates.

The day before Silicon Valley Bank customers panicked out $42 billion in a panicked dash, a measure of fear among Wall Street investors has fallen to nearly where it was on March 8, the day the stock market's investors have fallen to where it was yanked out by Wall Street. It became the second largest U.S. bank failure in history and sparked harsher scrutiny of banks around the world.

After Switzerland brokered a takeover of Credit Suisse by rival UBS, UBS brought back its former CEO, Sergio Ermotti, to help it absorb Credit Suisse. After the 2008 financial crisis, Ermotti led a turnaround at UBS.

Nearly all of the financial stocks in the S&P 500 went up Wednesday, according to Wall Street. Some banks that were hardest hit in recent weeks have gone up sharply. First Republic Bank jumped 5.6%, and PacWest Bancorp went up 5.6%. 5.1% of the market was up 5.1%.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will sell most of Silicon Valley Bank's assets early this week. The programs to help banks raise cash and support depositors in case of crisis have been announced by regulators.

The path ahead of the Federal Reserve and other central banks has become more difficult because of the struggles of the banking industry. The still high inflation around the world would call for higher interest rates. That would put more pressure on banks, which could pull back lending and squeeze the economy.

The Fed will have to cut rates as soon as this summer, something that can act like steroids for markets, according to traders. That has helped Big Tech and other high-growth stocks, which are seen as some of the biggest beneficiaries of lower rates.

But the Fed has hinted it will see another hike before it holds rates steady through the year, and Wall Street professionals take it at its word, saying rate cuts would likely come sooner if the economy is in serious trouble.

Even though parts of it have weakened under higher interest rates, a resilient job market has held up the economy. Wall Street will report on how much profit they made in the first three months of the year under such conditions.

In electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the benchmark U.S. crude rose 21 cents to $73.18 a barrel. The U.S. dollar fell to 132.50 Japanese yen from 132.75 yen in currency trading. The euro was at $1.0839, down from $1.0847.