Asian shares advance after gains on Wall Street

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A woman wearing a face mask walks past a bank's electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index at Hong Kong Stock Exchange in Hong Kong Monday, April 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

BANGKOK – Shares opened higher in Asia on Monday after a strong finish last week on Wall Street.

Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul and Shanghai all started out with modest gains and U.S. futures also edged higher. Oil prices slipped.

Stocks climbed Friday in New York, though the S&P 500 still ended with its first weekly loss in the last five. Technology stocks and banks led much of the gains, while investors focused on lackluster company earnings from big names like Intel, American Express and Honeywell.

So far, Asian markets have taken in stride recent setbacks in vanquishing the pandemic as infections have come roaring back in Japan, Thailand and India, among other countries.

Government precautions to battle surging outbreaks point to an uneven global recovery, economists say. That's especially true for tourism, an important industry for many parts of the region.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 added 0.3% to 29,120.12 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong edged less than 0.1% higher to 29,093.33. In Seoul, the Kospi jumped 0.8% to 3,209.85. The Shanghai Composite index rose 0.2% to 3,480.68, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged 3 points lower to 7,057.00. Shares fell in Jakarta but rose in Taiwan and Singapore.

On Friday, the benchmark S&P 500 rose 1.1% to 4,180.17. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7% to 34,043.49. The tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 1.4% to 14,016.81, while the Russell 2000 index of small caps rose 1.8% to 2,271.86.

Shares in Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Huggies diapers and other consumer products, fell by the most since last October after the company reported disappointing results.