China manufacturing data, Buffett’s new stakes in Japanese firms boost Asian markets

Asian stock markets rose Monday after Wall Street turned in its fifth straight weekly gain and China’s manufacturing growth held steady.

The Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, +0.44% rose 0.8% after the Chinese statistics bureau and an industry group reported a survey showed manufacturing grew in August at about the same rate as the previous month.

The Nikkei 225 NIK, -0.00% in Tokyo added 1.8%, rebounding after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s announcement that he was resigning for health reasons triggered heavy selling on Friday. Five of Japan’s most venerable corporate names also surged after Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. took stakes of slightly more than 5% in them.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI, -0.14% advanced 1.2% while the Kospi 180721, +1.00% in Seoul slipped 0.3%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -1.76% was about flat. New Zealand NZ50GR, -1.21% and Jakarta JAKIDX, 0.33% retreated while Singapore STI, -0.12% gained.

U.S. stocks benefited from Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell’s announcement of a strategy change that could keep interest rates low for a long time. The change, dubbed “average inflation targeting,” could mean rates stay low even if inflation hits the Fed’s 2% target.

“The market continues to run hot after U.S. Fed Chair Powell tipped his hat to a lengthy period of easy Fed policy,” said Stephen Innes of AxiCorp in a report.

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

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index is at a record high, propelled by big gains for technology stocks investors expect to do well despite the pandemic. But most stocks in the index still are down.

On Friday, the S&P 500 SPX, -0.21% gained 0.7% to 3,508.01. The index gained 3.3% for the week, capping its longest weekly winning streak since December. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.78% rallied 0.6% to 28,653.87. It returned to positive territory for the year. The Nasdaq composite COMP, +0.68% climbed 0.6% to a record 11,695.63.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil CLV20, 1.24% gained 20 cents to $43.17 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract slipped 7 cents on Friday to settle at $42.97. Brent crude UK:BRNV20 , the international standard, rose 34 cents to $46.15 per barrel in London.

The dollar USDJPY, -0.13% declined to 105.46 yen from Friday’s 105.55.

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