Asian Shares Follow Wall Street Higher As Bank Jitters Ease

Asian stocks ended broadly higher on Friday as worries about a crisis in the U.S. and European banking sector eased and investors looked forward to a smaller rate hike from the Federal Reserve next week.

Credit Suisse Group received a liquidity lifeline from the Swiss National Bank and big U.S. banks put together a rescue effort for First Republic Bank, easing worries over a possible spreading of risks throughout the financial system.

Chinese shares rose notably, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closing 0.7 percent higher at 3,250.55 on optimism over an economic recovery from the pandemic.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 1.6 percent to 19,518.59, led by technology stocks. Internet search engine Baidu soared 13.7 percent after unveiling an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot “Ernie Bot.”

Japanese shares rose sharply, led by banking and electronics stocks. Canon, Mizuho Financial Group and Sony climbed 1-3 percent. Construction firm Taisei Corp. led losses to close 8.1 percent lower.

The Nikkei 225 Index rallied 1.2 percent to 27,333.79, while the broader Topix closed 1.2 percent higher at 1,959.42.

Seoul stocks finished higher as traders priced in a 25-basis point rate hike at next week’s Fed meeting. The Kospi advanced 0.8 percent to 2,395.69, led by technology stocks.

Samsung Electronics gained 2.3 percent and SK Hynix surged 6.3 percent. Among those that fell, Samsung SDI, LG Chem and LG Energy Solutions lost 2-4 percent.

Australian markets eked out modest gains, led by energy stocks as oil extended overnight gains following reports that top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia met to discuss ways to enhance market stability. Woodside Energy Group added 2.7 percent and Santos rose 1.6 percent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.4 percent to 6,994.80 but posted a weekly decline of 2.1 percent, extending declines for a sixth straight week. The broader All Ordinaries Index settled half a percent higher at 7,188.20.

Transit operator Kelsian Group slumped 8.7 percent after announcing its acquisition of a major American bus operator.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX-50 Index edged up 0.2 percent to 11,725.62.

U.S. stocks posted strong gains overnight after reports emerged that JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS) and several other big banks would work together to shore up First Republic Bank with a $30 billion deposit.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 2.5 percent to end higher for the fourth straight session, while the Dow rose 1.2 percent and the S&P 500 added 1.8 percent.

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