Home Business Nikkei soars, leading Asian-market rebound following Wall Street’s big rally – MarketWatch

Nikkei soars, leading Asian-market rebound following Wall Street’s big rally – MarketWatch

16 min read

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

NIK, +4.17%

  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

1605, +4.27%


5020, +7.75%

 , Fuji Oil

5017, +8.12%

  and Japan Petroleum Exploration

1662, +4.90%

  rallied. Nintendo

7974, +4.75%

 , Sony

6758, +5.53%

  and Fast Retailing

9983, +1.81%

 also posted solid gains.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index

HSI, +0.62%

 , which reopened after the Christmas holiday, rose 0.6%. Energy companies were again among the leaders, with CNOOC

0883, +3.25%

 , China Petroleum & Chemical

0386, +2.84%

  and PetroChina

0857, +2.47%

  rising about 2% or more. Tech stocks gained as well, with Sunny Optical

2382, +4.39%

 and AAC

2018, +1.11%

  up more than 1% each.

On mainland China, the Shanghai Composite index

SHCOMP, +0.56%

  was up 0.5%, while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite

399106, +0.54%

  rose 0.4% as government data showed industrial profits fell in November for the first time in almost three years.

South Korea’s Kospi

SEU, +0.25%

  added 0.2% as Samsung

005930, +0.39%

  and SK Hynix

000660, +2.83%

  gained. Australia’s S&P-ASX 200

XJO, +1.62%

  rallied 1.5%, with energy companies such as Woodside Petroleum

WPL, +4.04%

 , Santos

STO, +2.48%

  and Beach Energy

BPT, +1.52%

 advancing. Benchmark indexes in Taiwan

Y9999, +1.84%

  and Singapore

STI, +1.95%

  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

SPX, +4.96%

  soared 5% to 2,467.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, +4.98%

  added over 1,000 points — its biggest point gain in a day — or 5% to 22,878.45. The Nasdaq composite

COMP, +5.84%

  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

CLG9, +0.02%

  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

LCOG9, +0.04%

 , 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.

The dollar

USDJPY, -0.29%

  eased to 111.04 yen from 111.37 yen late Wednesday.

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