BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets rose Monday after Wall Street gained on strong earnings and investors looked ahead to Apple results and this week's U.S. Federal Reserve meeting.
KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.1 percent to 4,441.93 points and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.7 percent to 28.245.14. Sydney's S&P ASX 200 added 0.7 percent to 5,973.30 and Seoul advanced 0.2 percent to 2,163.17. Taiwan, Singapore and Manila also rose. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 was unchanged at 20,024.76. On Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.1 percent and the Standard & Poor's 500 gained 0.2 percent. The Nasdaq composite, dominated by tech stocks, advanced 0.7 percent.
U.S. ECONOMY: Investors were looking ahead to Wednesday's meeting of the Fed board amid concern data this week will show the U.S. economy weakened in the first quarter. The Fed has no plans to update forecasts. Still, the meeting "will be closely watched to see if markets had been too eager to push out Fed hike expectations, especially now that oil prices have pushed above $55 / barrel," said DBS in a report.
EYES ON APPLE: Investors looked ahead to Apple Inc.'s quarterly results, due out after U.S. markets close on Monday. The world's most valuable company by market capitalization will be among 150 market-moving names in the S&P 500 including Ford, Visa, Pfizer and Exxon Mobil that report earnings this week. Apple, though still driven largely by iPhone sales, is being closely watched for signs of how its new Apple Watches are doing with customers.
WALL STREET: Shares advanced Friday after investors were encouraged by quarterly results from Microsoft, Amazon and Google. Microsoft beat expectations while Google fell short but reported strong growth in mobile advertising. Amazon reported a loss but said sales by its cloud computing division, Amazon Web Services, rose 49 percent.
GREECE: Greece's European creditors are trying to discourage talk that they are making plans for Athens to leave the shared euro after a meeting Friday failed to produce agreement on economic reforms in exchange for financial help. Greece's Yanis Varoufakis was rebuked for failing to come up with a list of reforms. The eurozone's top official, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said he hoped "some extra urgency" will be injected into the process following the meeting in Riga, the Latvian capital, of 19 finance ministers. Greece is forecast to have enough money for its government to pay its bills for another few weeks.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 2 cents to $57.13 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract shed 49 cents to close at $57.15 in the previous session. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 7 cents to $65.35 in London after gaining 43 cents the previous day to close at $65.28.
CURRENCY: The dollar edged down to 118.9510 yen from Friday's 118.9580. The euro was unchanged at $1.087.