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Stock market today: Asian shares mostly rise after US stocks wobble as Treasury bond yields

YURI KAGEYAMA, Associated Press

A person stands in front of an electronic stock board showing Japan’s Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023, in Tokyo. Shares were mixed Tuesday in Asia after Wall Street wobbled to a mixed close as yields on U.S. Treasury bonds fell back after creeping above 5%. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO (AP) — Shares mostly rose Tuesday in Asia after Wall Street wobbled to a mixed close as yields on U.S. Treasury bonds fell back after creeping above 5%.

Benchmarks rose in Tokyo, Sydney, Seoul, Shanghai and Taiwan, but fell in Hong Kong.

Rapidly rising yields in the bond market that have been pressuring stock prices since the summer seemed set to climb further after the 10-year Treasury briefly topped 5.02% to touch its highest level since 2007.

The S&P 500 quickly slumped 0.8%, but the 10-year yield eventually eased back to 4.84%, down from 4.91% late Friday, as oil prices tumbled to take some pressure off inflation and relax the vise on the stock market.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.2% in afternoon trading to 31,062.35. Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.2% to 6,856.90. South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.1% to 2,383.51.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.8% to 17,033.00, while the Shanghai Composite advanced 0.8% to 2,963.70. Taiwan’s Taiex was up 0.4%.

Shanghai’s benchmark had fallen to its lowest level in several years as worries over a slump in the property market and a slowing economy in general have led investors to sell off shares.

On Monday, the S&P 500 slipped 0.2% to 4,217.04 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.6%, to 32,836.41.

The Nasdaq composite rose 0.3% to 13,018.33. Lower bond yields tend to most help stocks of companies promising big growth far in the future or those seen as the most expensive. That gave a particular boost to technology and other high-growth stocks.

A 3.8% jump for Nvidia and 0.8% rise for Microsoft were the two strongest forces helping to limit the market’s losses, while most stocks on Wall Street weakened.

Treasury yields help dictate how much investors pay for everything from stocks to corporate bonds to cryptocurrencies. Higher yields also make it more expensive for nearly everyone to borrow money, which puts the brakes on economic growth and adds stress to the entire financial system.

The 10-year Treasury yield has been been catching up to the overnight interest rate that the Federal Reserve has hiked furiously, up to 5.25%, to try to get inflation under control.

One wild card for inflation has been the price of oil, which has bounced in recent weeks amid worries potential disruptions to supplies due to the latest Hamas-Israel war.

A barrel of benchmark U.S. crude oil added 43 cents to $85.92 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It tumbled $2.59 to settle at $85.49 Monday. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 50 cents to $90.33 a barrel. It fell $2.33 to $89.83 per barrel Monday.

U.S. oil had been above $93 last month, and it’s bounced up and down since then amid concerns that fighting in the Gaza Strip could lead to disruptions in supplies from Iran or other big oil-producing countries.

Gold’s price, meanwhile, eased after jumping last week on worries about the war. An ounce slipped $6.60 to $1,987.80 as investors felt less need to herd into investments considered safer.

Energy giant Chevron fell 3.7% after it said it’s swallowing up rival Hess in an all-stock deal valued at $53 billion. Hess slipped 1.1%.

It’s the second huge deal in the oil-and-gas industry in as many weeks. Exxon Mobil said earlier this month that it’s buying Pioneer Natural Resources in a$59.5 billion all-stock deal.

Apple rose 0.1% after recovering earlier losses, following reports that Foxconn Technology, its Taiwan-based supplier, was recently subjected to searches by Chinese tax authorities.

While worries about higher Treasury yields and the war in Gaza are weighing on markets, strong corporate profits and the resilient U.S. economy have helped to offset such pressures. This week, more than 30% of the companies in the S&P 500 will report. They include General Motors, Microsoft and Amazon.

Economic updates this week will include a Friday report on how much U.S. households are spending and what kind of inflation they’re feeling.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar inched up to 149.73 Japanese yen from 149.71 yen. The euro cost $1.0683, up from $1.0669.

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