by Joy McDonald
BEIJING ( Associated Press) – Asian stocks rose on Monday after seven weeks of losses on Wall Street as China eased anti-virus restrictions on trading activity in Shanghai and Beijing.
Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney advanced. Oil rose over $1 a barrel to stay above $110.
On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index ended Friday, plunging 6.6% for its biggest weekly gain in 18 months, following a slump in inflation in April. US markets will be closed on Monday for a holiday.
“Providing a positive trend earlier this week, the market edged higher over the long weekend,” ING economists said in a report.
The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.6% to 3,148.16 after the Chinese government allowed more factories and shops to reopen in Beijing and Shanghai. The country’s commercial capital Shanghai announced tax breaks and subsidies to help businesses recover from a two-month shutdown.
The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 2% to 27,309.35 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 2% to 21,122.91. The Kospi rose 1.2% to 2,669.09 in Seoul.
Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 was up 0.9% at 7,248.40. New Zealand and Singapore gained while Jakarta withdrew.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose 2.5% to 4,158.24 on Friday, driven by gains for tech companies.
Investors were relieved after Commerce Department data showed US inflation, which prompted the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, fell 6.3% in April from a year earlier, its first drop in 17 months. .
Markets are worried about whether the Fed can control inflation at a four-decade high without tipping the largest global economy into recession.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.8% to 33,212.96. The Nasdaq, which dominated tech stocks, rose 3.3% to 12,131.13.
The US market has been in a recession for the past two months on fears of a hike in interest rates that could slow economic activity, and the impact of Russia’s war on Ukraine and a Chinese economic downturn.
Crude oil prices have risen nearly 60% this year on fears of supply disruptions from Russia, the second largest global exporter. Wheat prices have increased by about 50% and corn prices by 30%.
Disruptions in manufacturing and trade as China closed Shanghai and other industrial cities to fight the virus outbreak have also added to inflationary pressures.
More factories, shops and other businesses have been allowed to reopen this week in Shanghai and the Chinese capital Beijing, after authorities declared the outbreak under control. The Shanghai city government promised cuts in rent and tax, faster approvals for construction projects and more subsidies for electric car purchases.
In energy markets, benchmark US crude rose $1.15 to $116.22 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international oil price base, rose $1.16 to $116.72 a barrel in London.
The dollar declined to 126.98 yen from Friday’s 127.10 yen. The euro rose from $1.0733 to $1.0744.