Asian stocks mixed after Wall St rally on economic optimism

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FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2020 file photo, stone sculptures adorn the New York Stock Exchange. Stocks are off to a strong start on Wall Street Monday, April 5, 2021, putting the S&P 500 on track to beat the record high it set last week. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

BEIJING – Asian shares were mixed Tuesday after a Wall Street rally that reflected some optimism about the economy recovering from the pandemic.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 lost early gains and fell nearly 0.2% to 30,038.44 in morning trading. South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.1% to 3,125.19. The Shanghai Composite slipped 0.1% to 3,479.84. Hong Kong trading was closed for Easter.

Yoshimasa Maruyama, chief market economist at SMBC Nikko, noted a gradual recovery in the Japanese economy had been reflected in the recent “tankan” Bank of Japan survey, which was released last week. He said a rebound was marked in electronics because of households consuming electronics goods, as the pandemic had squelched people's spending on services.

However, household spending data released Tuesday showed a 6.6% decline in February, with dining, clothing, transport and entertainment falling sharply.

Deep worries remain over the pandemic, with medical experts warning Japan to brace for a “fourth wave” of surging infections and deaths related to COVID-19, as the nation has fallen behind the rest of the world in testing and vaccinations.

Similar outbreaks have flared in other countries, including India and Thailand.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose 1.4% to 4,077.91, another record high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 379 points, or 1.2%, to 33,527.19 and the Nasdaq was 1.6% higher, at 13,705.59.

The gains came after the U.S. government reported that employers went on a hiring spree in March, adding 916,000 jobs, the most since August.