Asian markets were mixed in early trading Wednesday, after the S&P 500 closed at a new record about five months after massive losses caused by coronavirus fears.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 NIK, +0.39% advanced 0.2% after data showed Japanese exports in July slid 19.2% from a year earlier. While bad, the numbers were better than expected, and exports to China rose for the first time in seven months.
The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.30% fell 0.3% and the Shenzhen Composite 399106, -0.85% slid 0.9%. South Korea’s Kospi 180721, +0.95% gained 1% while benchmark indexes in Taiwan Y9999, +0.07% , Singapore STI, -0.03% and Indonesia JAKIDX, -0.13% were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +1.11% advanced 0.9%.
Trading was suspended in Hong Kong due to severe weather.
Shares of SoftBank 9984, +1.95% rose in Tokyo, as did Nintendo 6758, -2.28%, while Sony 6758, -2.28% fell. Samsung Electronics 005930, +0.51% gained in Seoul, while Beach Energy BPT, -2.35% slid in Australia.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit new records Tuesday despite dismal economic data and as Congress’ stalemate over a coronavirus aid plan continued, with few signs of progress. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.24% fell 66.84 points, or 0.2%, to close at 27,778.07. The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.23% gained 7.79 points, or 0.2%, closing at a record 3,389.78, its first all-time closing high since Feb. 19. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.72% added 81.84 points to reach 11,210.84, its 34th record close of the year.
The stock market’s sprint back to an all-time high also means that the gut-wrenching, nearly 34% plunge for the S&P 500 from Feb. 19 through March 23 was the quickest bear market on record, clocking in at just one month. The average bear market takes 19.6 months to bottom out, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
“This towering feat has to be the most curious outcome ever witnessed in the annals of global markets,” wrote Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp, in a note, “Given the immense issues of where the real economy sits as families struggle to put food on the table and fill up their cars with gas, not to mention we are nowhere near restoring pandemic economic losses as we are still adding those costs up.”
Benchmark U.S. crude for September delivery CLU20, -0.51% fell 15 cents to $42.74 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The global benchmark, October Brent crude BRNV20, -0.70% , dipped as wekk
The U.S. dollar USDJPY, +0.12% bought 105.45 Japanese yen, little changed from 105.46 yen on Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.