Asia Markets: Asian markets rise after Wall Street’s record highs

Asian markets rose in early trading Thursday, following record closing highs for U.S. stocks in a shortened trading day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, +0.67%

  rose 179.32 points, or 0.7%, at 26,966, it’s first record close since Oct. 3, while the S&P 500 index

SPX, +0.77%

  set its third-straight record close, rising 22.81 points, or 0.8% to 2,995.82. The Nasdaq Composite index

COMP, +0.75%

ended the day at an all-time high of 8,170.23, adding 61.14 points , or 0.8%. U.S. markets will be closed Thursday for Independence Day.

Investors cheered signs that global monetary policy will become more stimulative in the months ahead, after International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde was nominated to replace Mario Draghi as the head of the European Central Bank. Also, President Donald Trump said he would nominate Christopher Waller, the research director at the St. Louis Fed, and Judy Shelton, the U.S. executive director for the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, for influential posts on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. Shelton has backed interest-rate cuts, and Waller is an easy-money advocate.

On the trade-war front, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Wednesday that high-level U.S. and Chinese negotiators would talk on the phone next week to set up a new round of face-to-face meetings.

Japan’s Nikkei

NIK, +0.29%

  rose 0.2% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index

HSI, +0.05%

  gained 0.3%. The Shanghai Composite

SHCOMP, -0.21%

 and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite

399106, -0.31%

  hovered about flat. South Korea’s Kospi

180721, -0.27%

  fell 0.2%. Benchmark indexes in Taiwan

Y9999, +0.17%

  and Singapore

STI, +0.20%

  gained slightly, while Indonesian stocks

JAKIDX, +0.22%

  were about flat. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200

XJO, +0.50%

  rose 0.6%.

Among individual stocks, SoftBank

9984, +3.25%

  gained in Tokyo trading, as did Inpex

1605, +1.21%

  , while Fast Retailing

9983, -1.03%

  declined. In Hong Kong, Sino Biopharmaceutical

1177, +3.32%

  and Galaxy Entertainment

27, +1.44%

  rose, while AAC

2018, -2.45%

  and Sunny Optical

2382, -1.58%

  fell. Samsung

005930, +0.55%

  inched up in South Korea, as did Taiwan Semiconductor

2330, +0.62%

  in Taiwan. Westpac

WBC, +1.16%

  and National Australia Bank

NAB, +1.05%

  gained in Australia.