Asian stock markets follow Wall Street higher

Asian stock markets have risen after Wall Street hit a new high despite lingering unease about a possible second wave of coronavirus infections

BEIJING —
Asian stock markets rose Monday after Wall Street hit a new high despite lingering unease about a possible second wave of coronavirus infections.

Benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and South Korea advanced.

Global markets have recovered most of this year’s losses despite rising infection numbers in the United States, Brazil and some other countries.

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index ended last week up 0.7%, though the majority of stocks in the index declined. The gain was driven by the strength of technology stocks.

Forecasters say the recovery might be too early and strong to be sustained by uncertain economic activity. Market benchmarks have been lifted by outperformance by big companies, while smaller stocks still are down.

The global economy “offers few reasons to be upbeat,” said Mizuho Bank in a report.

If a “second wave” of infections hits, renewed curbs on business and travel “could hamper the trajectory of economic recovery,” the bank said.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 02.% to 3,386.86 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.2% to 22,971.98. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong advanced 1.5% to 25,483.06.

The Kospi in Seoul was 0.6% higher at 2,320.28 and Australia’s S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.1% to 6,120.20.

India’s Sensex opened up 0.5% at 38,641.30. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets advanced.

Stocks have powered higher despite signs economic growth in the United States and Europe might be weakening.

Investors have been encouraged by central bank efforts to support growth with infusions of credit. Many are trying to look beyond the end of the pandemic to pick companies that will emerge stronger. That has led many to pile into tech stocks.

On Friday, the S&P 500 rose 0.3% to 3,397.16. It ended the week up 0.7%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.7% to 27,930.33. The Nasdaq composite added 0.4% to 11,311.80.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 6 cents to $42.28 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 48 cents on Friday to settle at $42.34. Brent crude, the international standard, shed 4 cents to $44.31 per barrel in London. It lost 55 cents to $44.35 the previous session.

The dollar gained to 105.90 yen from Friday’s 105.80 yen. The euro declined to $1.1793 from $1.1798.