Asian stocks track Wall St's rally despite global worries

TOKYO — Asian stocks rose Monday, cheered by the latest rally on Wall Street and relative quiet in U.S. politics as President Donald Trump began his first official trip overseas as president.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.3 percent in morning trading at 19,649.24. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.8 percent to 5,769.00. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.4 percent to 2,297.92. Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped nearly 0.8 percent to 25,363.56, while the Shanghai Composite edged 0.1 percent higher to 3,097.52. Southeast Asian markets were also higher.

MARKET WORRIES: Among the global developments adding to investor fears are the various controversies swirling around the Trump administration. But news was relatively quiet over the weekend as Trump visited Saudi Arabia, getting a reprieve from the controversies that have marred his young presidency. Trump will travel on to Israel and Europe and attend a summit of the Group of Seven nations.

NORTH KOREA: North Korea's latest missile test, on Sunday, was a solid-fuel ballistic missile that can be harder for outsiders to detect before launch. The official Korean Central News Agency confirmed Monday the missile was a Pukguksong-2, a land-based version of a submarine-launched missile. The missile fell into the sea and generated scant reaction in markets.

THE QUOTE: "North Korea conducted a missile test on Sunday, but it is not expected to cause much financial market impact as both the U.S. and South Korea have been restrained in their reactions," said Zhu Huani, an analyst at Mizuho Bank in Singapore.

WALL STREET: The S&P 500 index rose 0.7 percent to 2,381.73 and the Dow Jones industrial average also added 0.7 percent, to 20,804.84. The Nasdaq composite index gained 0.5 percent to 6,083.70.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil added 51 cents to $51.18 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 47 cents to $54.08 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: In currency trading, the dollar rose to 111.47 yen from 111.39 yen late Friday in Asia. The euro edged up to $1.1193 from $1.1139.

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Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

Her work can be found at https://www.apnews.com/search/yuri%20kageyama

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