Asian stocks mostly up ahead of US prices update, OPEC+ meeting


BANGKOK (AP) — Asian shares were mostly higher Thursday ahead of an update on U.S. consumer inflation and a meeting. oil producer In Vienna.

US futures rose and oil prices also rose.

Later on Thursday, the US government is due to release its October data on the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation. Economists expect that measure to continue the relaxationAs is happening from mid-2022. The Federal Reserve is expected to keep its benchmark interest rate steady at its meeting in December and eventually start cutting rates if inflation remains under control.

Wall Street received encouraging news on Wednesday that t American economy grew That grew at a faster annual pace of 5.2% from July to September, an improvement on the earlier estimate of 4.9%. Consumer spending, the lifeblood of the economy, grew at a 3.6% annual rate from July to September. This is still healthy, but lower than the previous estimate of 4%.

The prospect of a possible easing of interest rates has eased pressure on the US dollar, giving gains to currencies like the Japanese yen. This could provide relief from inflationary pressures that have put the Bank of Japan's long-standing loose monetary policy into question.

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In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 0.5% to 33,486.89.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong was up 0.2% at 17,030.49. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.3% to 3,029.67.

An official survey of Chinese factory managers showed the manufacturing sector contracted in November, indicating further weakness in the slowing Chinese economy despite recent signs of improvement.

“The latest surveys show that the economy continued to decline in November. However, they may overstate the extent of the recession due to the impact of sentiment,” Sheena Yu of Capital Economics said in a note.

South Korea's Kospi rose 0.6% to 2,535.29. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.7% to 7,087.30. The SET fell 0.5% in Bangkok. India's Sensex fell 0.2% and Taiwan's Taiex rose 0.4%.

OPEC+ members, whose oil revenues underpin their economies, will try to build consensus on Thursday cut production after postponing the meeting originally scheduled for Sunday.

U.S. benchmark crude oil was down 5 cents at $77.81 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday it increased by $ 1.45 to $ 77.86 per barrel.

Brent crude, the international standard, rose 2 cents to $82.90 a barrel.

Wall Street capped a choppy day of trading on Wednesday with a mixed finish, as a late-afternoon tug-of-war between several big tech companies offset gains elsewhere in the market.

The S&P 500 fell 0.1% to 4,550.58 after rising 0.7% earlier in the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.5% and ended up just 0.1% at 35,430.42. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 0.2% to 14,258.49.

Facebook parent Meta fell 2%, Google parent Alphabet fell 1.6% and Microsoft dropped 1%.

Still, gainers outnumber decliners on the New York Stock Exchange by a margin of nearly 2 to 1.

Automakers were among the bright spots. General Motors The stock rose 9.4% after the company announced a big stock buyback, raised its dividend and told investors it would have no trouble covering the costs of its new labor contract. The stock is still down 6.1% for the year, while the S&P 500 is up more than 18%.

GM and its rivals agreed to new contracts with the United Auto Workers and Canadian Auto Workers in late October after a strike that lasted more than a month.

Ford rose 2.1% and jeep maker Stellantis rose 5.3%.

Treasury yields fell, putting further pressure on stocks. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which influences mortgage rates, dropped to 4.27% from 4.33%. The yield on 2-year Treasuries fell sharply to 4.66% from 4.75%.

Many stocks rose on Wednesday after giving a strong financial update. NetApp jumped 14.6% after it handily beat analysts' forecasts for earnings in its latest quarter and raised its outlook for the year.

The dollar fell to 147.08 Japanese yen from 147.24 yen in currency transactions. The euro was unchanged at $1.0971.

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