Asian stocks up after Wall St. record amid vaccine optimism

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets are mostly higher after Wall Street hit a record high on optimism the spread of coronavirus vaccines might allow global business to return to normal. Tokyo and Southeast Asian markets rose while Seoul swung between gains and losses. Shanghai, Hong Kong and Australia were closed for holidays. On Thursday, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index rose 1.2% on its last trading day before a holiday weekend, closing above 4,000 points for the first time. Investors have been encouraged by the spread of coronavirus vaccines despite rising infection numbers in the United States, Europe and other places that have prompted some governments to reimpose travel and business curbs.