TOKYO — Asian shares were mostly higher Friday, taking their cue from optimism on Wall Street set off by a report showing spending by U.S. consumers growing in July, along with wages and salaries.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 edged up 0.2 percent to 19,684.81 in early trading, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added nearly 0.2 percent to 5,723.40. But South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.2 percent at 2,359.02. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.3 percent to 28,040.59. The Shanghai Composite rose 0.4 percent to 3,375.17. Southeast Asian markets were closed for a holiday.
UPBEAT U.S.: The U.S. Commerce Department said consumer spending grew at its fastest pace in three months. Companies that sell everything from cosmetics to toys to shoes advanced as investors bet Americans would shop more. Biotech drug companies, drug distributors, and scientific equipment companies made some of the biggest gains in health care. Technology companies advanced for the fourth day in a row and closed at record highs.
WALL STREET: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 14.06 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,471.65, its highest close in three weeks. The Dow Jones industrial average added 55.67 points, or 0.3 percent, to 21,948.10. The Nasdaq composite gained 60.35 points, or 1 percent, to 6,428.66, above the record high it set in late July.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 26 cents to $46.97 a barrel. It jumped $1.27 to $47.23 a barrel in New York Thursday, recouping recent losses over Tropical Storm Harvey as the rains hitting the Gulf Coast began to abate. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 12 cents to $52.74 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 110.04 yen from Thursday’s 110.53 yen. The euro rose to $1.1907 from $1.1876.
AP Markets Writer Marley Jay contributed to this report.
He can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP
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AP Business Writer Yuri Kageyama can be reached at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama
Her work can be found at https://www.apnews.com/search/yuri%20kageyama