World shares are mostly higher after rebound on Wall Street


Shares advanced in Europe and Asia ahead of Monday’s Memorial Day holiday in the United States. Oil prices also rose. European shares saw modest gains after the opening while Asian benchmarks gained upward momentum as the day wore on. Germany’s DAX edged 0.1% higher to 18,713.43 and the CAC 40 in Paris rose 0.2% to 8,107.16. Markets in London were closed for a bank holiday. The future for the S&P 500 slipped less than 0.1% and that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell just over 0.1%.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 added 0.7% to 38,900.02 and the Kospi in Seoul jumped 1.2% to 2,722.99. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 surged 0.8% to 2,788.30 and the Shanghai Composite index gained 0.8% to 3,124.24 as the government reported corporate profits rose 4.3% year-on-year in January-April. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng reversed early losses, gaining 1.2% to 18,827.35. In Taiwan and South Korea, heavy buying of computer chip-related shares pushed benchmarks higher. The Taiex ended 1.1% higher after touching a fresh record. MediaTek, a semiconductor company that provides chips for wireless communications, high-definition television and handheld mobile devices jumped 7.5%.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. logged a slimmer 0.2% gain. “The robust global semiconductor cycle is positive for Taiwan’s growth outlook,” Raymond Yeung and Bansi Madhavani of ANZ wrote in a research note. “The global semiconductor cycle is strong thanks to breakthroughs in artificial intelligence applications, cloud computing and 5G telecommunications technology,” it said. On Friday, the S&P 500 gained 0.7%, winning back all its losses from the prior two days. It eked out a tiny gain for the week, extending its weekly winning streak to five, and is sitting just below its record set on Tuesday.


The Dow inched less than 0.1% higher and the Nasdaq composite gained 1.1%, to 16,920.79, topping an all-time high set earlier in the week. Nvidia rose another 2.6% Friday, making it the biggest single force pushing the S&P 500 upward. This week’s bumpiness for stocks came despite another blowout profit report from Nvidia, which has rocketed to become one of Wall Street’s most influential stocks amid a frenzy around artificial-intelligence technology. Fervor around AI had pushed some stocks to heights that critics called overdone, but Nvidia’s eye-popping growth and forecasts for more suggest it could keep going.

The overall US economy has been showing continued strength for spending by US households, but numbers beneath the surface may not be as encouraging. Worries about stubbornly high inflation were behind last week’s rocky trading, after recent records. The weakness began after the Federal Reserve on Wednesday released minutes from its last policy meeting that showed some officials talking about possibly raising rates if inflation worsens. Stocks fell further after reports on Thursday indicated the US economy is stronger than expected.

Such strength can actually spook Wall Street because it could keep upward pressure on inflation. In other trading Monday, US benchmark crude oil gained 31 cents to $78.03 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It picked up 85 cents on Friday. Brent crude, the international standard, added 32 cents to $82.16 per barrel. In currency dealings, the US dollar slipped to 156.94 Japanese yen from 156.99 yen. The euro rose to $1.0849 from $1.0844.