Strong factory data, Wall St gains boost Asian share prices

A currency trader stands near the screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), left, and the foreign exchange rate between U.S. dollar and South Korean won at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. Strong manufacturing data and overnight gains on Wall Street gave Asian markets a boost on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
A currency trader talks on the phone near the screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), right, and the foreign exchange rate at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. Strong manufacturing data and overnight gains on Wall Street gave Asian markets a boost on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
A man and a woman walk past Tokyo Stock Exchange which is closes for New Year's holidays in Tokyo Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. Strong manufacturing data and overnight gains on Wall Street gave Asian markets a boost on Wednesday. Markets in Japan were closed for New Year holidays. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
People walk past a securities firm which is closed for New Year's holidays in Tokyo Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. Strong manufacturing data and overnight gains on Wall Street gave Asian markets a boost on Wednesday. Markets in Japan were closed for New Year holidays. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
A currency trader walks by the screens showing the foreign exchange rates at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. Strong manufacturing data and overnight gains on Wall Street gave Asian markets a boost on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
A man with a suite case walks past a securities firm which is closed for New Year's holidays in Tokyo Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. Strong manufacturing data and overnight gains on Wall Street gave Asian markets a boost on Wednesday. Markets in Japan were closed for New Year holidays. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO — Strong manufacturing data and overnight gains on Wall Street gave Asian markets a boost on Wednesday.

KEEPING SCORE: Hong Kong's Hang Seng index edged 0.2 percent higher to 30,568.04 and the Shanghai Composite index jumped 0.8 percent to 3,375.18. South Korea's Kospi added 0.3 percent to 2,486.25 and the S&P ASX 200 in Australia ticked 0.1 percent higher to 6,069.10. Shares rose in Taiwan and Singapore but fell in Indonesia. Markets in Japan were closed for New Year holidays but reopen on Thursday.

WALL STREET: Technology and health care companies jumped Tuesday as U.S. stocks started the new year the same way they spent the last one: rising steadily and setting records. Energy companies, which struggled in 2017, also climbed. The Nasdaq composite busted through another milestone as it closed above 7,000 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 index 0.8 percent to a record 2,695.81. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 0.4 percent to 24,824.01 and the Nasdaq composite jumped 1.5 percent to 7,006.90. The Russell 2000 index, which consists of smaller company stocks, gained 0.9 percent to 1,550.51, also a new high.

MANUFACTURING DATA: With little other news at the year's start, surveys in China and India showing strong manufacturing growth in the world's most populous countries helped push commodities prices higher, helping miners and other sectors. The J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers index) showed output and new orders expanding at their fastest rate in nearly seven years in December.

ANALYST'S VIEWPOINT: "U.S. investors put their money where their mouth is, starting the year with a confidence-boosting rally in cyclical stocks. Driven by the coordinated global growth theme and no doubt reinforced by tax cuts, last night saw solid gains in US cyclical sectors including consumer discretionary; materials and info tech," Ric Spooner of CMC Markets said in a commentary.

BITCOIN: Bitcoin rose after the Wall Street Journal reported that the venture capital firm Founders Fund, co-founded by Peter Thiel, bought around $15 million in bitcoin in mid-2017. The report cited anonymous sources. The digital currency rose 3.2 percent to $15,213.33 by midday Wednesday in Asia, according to Coindesk. Thiel did not immediately respond to request for comment.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 2 cents to $60.35 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 5 cents to $60.37 a barrel in New York on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 5 cents to $66.52 per barrel. It lost 30 cents to $66.57 per barrel in London. A rally late in the year sent crude oil to its highest price since June 2015.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.36 yen from 112.29 yen. The euro slipped to $1.2046 from $1.2060.

____

AP Markets Writer Marley Jay contributed. He can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jayt

Must Read

Hong Kong election highlights rising anti-China mood

Sep 4, 2016

Polls opened in Hong Kong Sunday for the specially administered Chinese city's most crucial...

Britain's May seeks out new trading relations post-Brexit

Sep 4, 2016

British Prime Minister Theresa May says she intends to seize new trading opportunities for a...

Asian stocks drift as Fed rate outlook eases on service data

Sep 7, 2016

Asian stocks meandered Wednesday after a weak report on U.S. service companies reinforced...

China, Russia launch South China Sea naval war games

Sep 12, 2016

China's military says the Chinese and Russian navies are launching eight days of war games in the...

Taiwan loses diplomatic ally in move welcomed by Beijing

Dec 21, 2016

Taiwan has condemned the African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe's "abrupt" move to break...

More News From aseancoverage.com

May says Britain still inspires confidence post-Brexit

Sep 5, 2016

After meeting with other world leaders during the G-20 summit, British Prime Minister Theresa May...

Aid groups warn of crisis as Mongolia hit by harsh winter

Dec 21, 2016

Another unusually harsh winter in Mongolia that's decimating livestock and sending temperatures to...

Winds may finally clear 'scary' pollution from China's skies

Dec 21, 2016

The dense smog that has smothered much of China for five days may soon clear, giving relief to...

Global markets mixed after Wall Street loss

Dec 23, 2016

Asian markets are mostly lower while Europe has gained in early trading ahead of the Christmas...

Chinese carrier carries out fighter drills on open seas

Dec 24, 2016

China's military says its first aircraft carrier group has carried out a series of fighter launch,...