Asian stocks rallied on Friday amid expectations that additional U.S. fiscal stimulus under the Biden administration and a mass rollout of coronavirus vaccines will spur a strong economic recovery later in the year.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index bucked the uptrend and slipped 6.10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 3,570.11 amid reports the Trump administration is considering banning U.S. entities from investing in an expanded list of Chinese companies. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 1.2 percent to settle at 27,878.22.
Japanese shares hit a three-decade high as the yen weakened and data showed household spending rose an annual 1.1 percent in November, marking the second consecutive monthly rise.
The Nikkei 225 Index spiked 648.90 points, or 2.4 percent, to 28,139.03 as the country began its first day under a coronavirus state of emergency.
The broader Topix closed 1.6 percent higher at 1,854.94 ahead of a long holiday weekend. Tokyo financial markets will be closed on Monday for a national holiday.
Tire maker Bridgestone surged 6 percent after French-Swiss construction giant LafargeHolcim said it would buy Firestone Building Products, a unit of Bridgestone Americas, for $3.4 billion.
Australian markets finished notably higher as stimulus hopes offset Covid-19 worries, with the country’s third largest city entering a three-day lockdown to stop the spread of a highly contagious variant of the coronavirus first identified in Britain.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 45.90 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,757.90, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 43.70 points, or 0.6 percent, at 7,024.20.
Tech stocks rose broadly, with Afterpay surging 6.6 percent. Oil Search, Origin Energy and Woodside Petroleum gained 1-2 percent, buoyed by rising oil prices after major producer Saudi Arabia pledged to cut production.
Seoul stocks soared on optimism over a global recovery as U.S. Congress formally certified Biden’s election victory, paving the way for a bigger stimulus package.
The benchmark Kospi soared 120.50 points, or 4 percent, to 3,152.18, marking the largest single-day rise since June 16, 2020.
Market heavyweights led the advance, with Samsung Electronics jumping 7.1 percent and Hyundai Motor soaring 19.4 percent.
There were reports that Hyundai Motor was is in talks with Apple Inc. for a potential partnership in developing electric cars and batteries.
New Zealand shares eked out modest gains, with the benchmark NZX-50 index ending up 72.52 points, or 0.5 percent, at 13,558.19, led by tech and utility stocks.
U.S. stocks climbed to record highs overnight as the Capitol building was finally secured and lawmakers certified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, giving Democrats control of the House, Senate and the White House. Encouraging jobless claims and service sector activity data also buoyed sentiment.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 2.6 percent, while the S&P 500 rallied 1.5 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7 percent.
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