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Stock market today: Asian shares start June mostly higher following Wall St rally

Currency traders work near the screen showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), left, and the foreign exchange rate between U.S. dollar and South Korean won at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, June 3, 2024. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Asian shares began June mostly higher after a report showing that inflation in the U.S. is not worsening drove a rally on Wall Street.

India’s Sensex surged 2.8% to 76,059.59 after the country’s 6-week-long national election came to an end with most exit polls projecting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will extend his decade in power with a third consecutive term.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 2.3% to 18,498.33, while the Shanghai Composite index fell back in the afternoon, losing 0.5% to 3,071.02.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 advanced 1.2% to 38,933.36 and the Kospi in Seoul surged 2% to 2,688.46.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.8% to 7,764.30.

In Taiwan, the Taiex was up 1.8%.

On Friday, the S&P 500 rose 0.8% to close its sixth winning month in the last seven, ending at 5,277.51. The Dow leaped 1.5% to 38,686.32, and the Nasdaq slipped less than 0.1% to 16,735.02.

Gap soared to one of the market’s biggest gains, 28.6%, after delivering stronger profit and revenue for the latest quarter than analysts expected. The retailer also raised its forecasts for sales and profitability this year despite saying the outlook for the economy remains uncertain.

Stocks broadly got a boost from easing Treasury yields in the bond market after the latest reading on inflation came in roughly as expected, at 2.7% last month.

That could bolster confidence at the Federal Reserve that inflation is sustainably heading toward its target of 2%, something it says it needs before it will cut its main interest rate.

Friday’s report from the U.S. government also showed growth in consumer spending weakened by more than economists expected. Growth in incomes for Americans also slowed last month.

“Finally, the U.S. economic data is starting to show clear signs that consumers are feeling the pinch. With savings running dry, prices skyrocketing, the job market cooling down, disposable incomes taking a hit, and interest rates still high, spending in 2022 is becoming impossible. It’s like trying to fill a bucket with a hole in it — good luck keeping it full,” Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a commentary.

The Fed has been keeping the federal funds rate at the highest level in more than 20 years in hopes of slowing the economy enough to stifle high inflation. But if it holds rates too high for too long, it could choke off the economy’s growth and cause a recession that throws workers out of their jobs and craters profits for companies.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 4.50% Friday from 4.55% late Thursday. It had topped 4.60% earlier in the week amid worries about tepid demand following some auctions for Treasurys, a move that had hurt stocks.

Virtually no one expects the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates at its next meeting in a week and a half, but most expect the Fed will cut at least once by the end of the year, according to data from CME Group.

Dell tumbled 17.9% even though it matched analysts’ forecasts for profit in the latest quarter. Its stock had already soared 122% in 2024 ahead of the report, meaning expectations were very high, and analysts pointed to concerns about how much profit Dell is squeezing out of each $1 in revenue.

Nvidia fell for a second straight day, losing 0.8%, as its momentum finally slows after soaring more than 20% since its blowout profit report last week.

Trump Media & Technology Group slumped 5.3% in its first trading following the conviction of Donald Trump on felony charges Thursday. The company, which runs the Truth Social platform, had warned earlier in filings with U.S. securities regulators about potential impact from a conviction.

MongoDB dropped 23.9% despite topping forecasts for profit and revenue as its projections fell short of analysts’ expectations.

In other dealings early Monday, U.S. benchmark crude oil shed 5 cents to $76.94 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude, the international standard, gave up 8 cents to $81.03 after OPEC agreed during the weekend to maintain its production cuts at a time when prices are slack.

The U.S. dollar rose to 157.41 Japanese yen from 157.26 yen. The euro rose to $1.855 from $1.0848.

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