Asian stocks rose on Tuesday as U.S. President Donald Trump’s return to the White House from hospital coupled with Joe Biden’s increasing lead in weekend polls in the U.S. presidential race helped reduce uncertainties surrounding the 2020 presidential election.
Rising optimism that U.S. lawmakers could agree on new stimulus also offered some support as talks between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continued.
Markets in China were closed for the National Day holiday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.90 percent to 23,980.65.
Japanese stocks closed higher as Trump returned to the White House and vowed to quickly get back on the campaign trail after being discharged from hospital.
The Nikkei average rose 121.59 points, or 0.52 percent, to 23,433.73, while the broader Topix index closed 0.52 percent higher at 1,645.75.
Market heavyweight SoftBank surged 2.4 percent, while automakers Toyota Motor, Nissan Motor, Mazda and Honda Motor rose 1-2 percent on a weaker yen.
Australian markets fluctuated before ending modestly higher as the central bank held key rates steady at a record low and hinted at further monetary easing.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 inched up 20.50 points, or 0.35 percent, to 5,962.10 ahead of the budget announcement. The broader All Ordinaries index ended up 29.10 points, or 0.47 percent, at 6,164.20.
Gold miner Northern Star Resources soared 10.6 percent after it agreed to buy smaller rival Saracen Mineral Holdings. Shares of the latter surged 9.6 percent.
Energy stocks rallied as oil extended sharp overnight gains. Origin Energy, Woodside Petroleum, Beach Energy, Oil Search and Santos jumped 2-3 percent.
Technology stocks also rose, with Afterpay surging nearly 5 percent and Wisetech Global adding 2 percent.
In economic releases, a survey showed that the construction sector in Australia continued to contract in September, albeit at a slower pace. The merchandise trade surplus for August came in at A$2.643 billion – shy of expectations for a surplus of A$5.154 billion and down from A$5.607 billion in July.
Seoul stocks extended gains for the fifth day running on renewed optimism surrounding stimulus negotiations in the United States. The benchmark Kospii edged up 7.90 points, or 0.34 percent, to 2,365.90.
Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics rallied 3.9 percent and leading chemical firm LG Chem advanced 2.3 percent, while Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest automaker, declined 2.4 percent.
Consumer prices in South Korea were up an annual 1.0 percent in September, Statistics Korea said today – exceeding expectations for a gain of 0.7 percent, which would have been unchanged from August.
On a monthly basis, inflation rose 0.7 percent – again beating forecasts for 0.4 percent and up from 0.6 percent in the previous month.
New Zealand shares rose notably, with the benchmark NZX 50 index rising 76.76 points, or 0.65 percent, to 11,975.02, led by travel-related stocks. Air New Zealand climbed 3.7 percent after its restructure announcement.
U.S. stocks rose sharply overnight to reach their best closing levels in a month, as concerns about President Trump’s Covid-19 health dissipated and data showed the U.S. services sector grew for a fourth straight month in September.
The Dow rallied 1.7 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite spiked 2.3 percent and the S&P 500 surged 1.8 percent.
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