An incredible day on Wall Street, which saw major indexes finishing at least 5% higher, spurred early gains in Asia on Thursday as some traders returned from a Christmas break.
Stock markets also got a boost from crude oil futures, which surged 8% Wednesday, coming off 17-month lows as a Russian official predicted oil prices would stabilize in 2019.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index
rebounded 3.7%. It had tumbled more than 5% on Tuesday before recovering slightly a day later. The energy sector was among the day’s biggest winners, as Inpex
, Fuji Oil
and Japan Petroleum Exploration
and Fast Retailing
also posted solid gains.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
, which reopened after the Christmas holiday, rose 0.6%. Energy companies were again among the leaders, with CNOOC
, China Petroleum & Chemical
rising about 2% or more. Tech stocks gained as well, with Sunny Optical
up more than 1% each.
On mainland China, the Shanghai Composite index
was up 0.5%, while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite
rose 0.4% as government data showed industrial profits fell in November for the first time in almost three years.
South Korea’s Kospi
added 0.2% as Samsung
and SK Hynix
gained. Australia’s S&P-ASX 200
rallied 1.5%, with energy companies such as Woodside Petroleum
and Beach Energy
advancing. Benchmark indexes in Taiwan
rose around 2%.
On Wednesday, U.S. markets snapped a four-day losing streak and clocked their best day in more than 10 years. Investors were reassured by an official signal that President Donald Trump, who has heavily criticized the Fed on Twitter, will not try to oust Chairman Jerome Powell. The broad S&P 500 index
soared 5% to 2,467.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
added over 1,000 points — its biggest point gain in a day — or 5% to 22,878.45. The Nasdaq composite
picked up 5.8% to 6,554.36.
“Wall Street’s strong rebound on Wednesday inspires gains across to Asia even as the market ponders about the sustainability of this change with the light volume that accompanied,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a market commentary.
According to Bloomberg News, the U.S. will send government delegation to hold trade talks with Chinese officials in Beijing in the week starting Jan. 7. It cited two people familiar with the matter. This follows a meeting between Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Argentina earlier this month. The two leaders agreed to hold off on additional tariffs for 90 days, to work on disagreements on trade and technology policies.
Benchmark U.S. crude
dropped 12 cents to $46.10 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday, the contract posted its biggest one-day gain in more than two years to settle at $46.22 a barrel in New York. Brent crude
, used to price international oils, shed 13 cents to $54.34 a barrel.
The rally was “a clear signal that the oil market tumult was rooted in the equity market volatility where investor sentiment has been weighted down by the unfortunate events in Washington, higher U.S. Interest rates, China economic slowdown and the omnipresent U.S.-China trade dispute,” wrote Stephen Innes, head of Asia Pacific trading at Oanda, in a research note.
eased to 111.04 yen from 111.37 yen late Wednesday.
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