Asian shares rally on growth optimism

Asian Stock Markets
Us Gains Pushes Higher Asian Shares

Asian stocks rose sharply on Tuesday as positive US vaccination news and easing worries about an imminent tapering of stimulus by the Federal Reserve raised hopes the global economy will recover faster than expects.

Investors also awaited the Federal Reserve’s annual Jackson Hole conference later in the week for clues on possible asset purchase tapering timeline.

Chinese shares rose sharply after reports emerged that the US Securities and Exchange Commission has begun issuing new disclosure requirements to Chinese firms looking to list in New York.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index jumped 37.34 points, or 1.07 percent, to 3,514.47 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index ended up 2.46 percent at 25,727.92.

Japanese shares followed Wall Street higher, with the Nikkei average ending up 237.86 points, or 0.87 per cent, at 27,732.10. The broader Topix index closed 1.0 per cent higher at 1,934.20 on expectations for a faster economic recovery globally.

Heavyweight SoftBank Group gained 1.5 per cent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing rose 0.8 per cent. Robot maker Fanuc advanced 1.6 per cent and chip manufacturing equipment maker Tokyo Electron jumped 2 pe rcent. Showa Denko shares plummeted 9.6 per cent on equity dilution worries after the industrial materials maker announced a sale of new shares.

Australian markets ended higher as investors took comfort from higher commodity prices and a raft of strong corporate earnings. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index edged up 13.10 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 7,503 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended up 12.60 points, or 0.16 per cent, at 7,773.70.

Energy stocks such as Origin Energy, Santos and Woodside Petroleum rose over 3 per cent each as oil prices jumped more than 5 per cent after seven sessions of declines.

Papua New Guinea-focused Oil Search gained 3 per cent after it bounced back to a first-half profit. Gold miners Evolution, Newcrest and Norther Star Resources added 1-2 per cent as a retreat in the dollar pushed bullion prices higher.

Infection prevention company Nanosonics soared 21.9 per cent after it forecast a double-digit revenue growth in fiscal 2022. Wireless broadband services Uniti Group climbed 8.4 per cent after reporting record revenue and earnings for the year.

Ansell slumped 9.2 per cent after the protective equipment maker warned of Covid-related supply and logistics issues. Online marketplace giant Kogan plunged 15.8 per cent after declaring it will not pay a final dividend.

Seoul stocks rallied to extend gains from the previous session amid easing worries of an imminent tapering of Fed stimulus.

The Kospi average jumped 48.09 points, or 1.56 per cent, to close at 3,138.30 on tech gains. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics climbed 3.1 per cent, while No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix and internet portal operator Naver both advanced 1.9 percent.

Consumer confidence in South Korea dipped slightly in August, according to the latest survey from the Bank of Korea’s sentiment index, which came in with a score of 102.5 – down from 103.2 in July.

New Zealand shares rose after official data showed the country’s retail sales volumes rose a seasonally adjusted 3.3 per cent in the second quarter, beating forecasts. The benchmark NZX-50 index inched up 7.79 points to finish at 13,071.86.

Retirement village operator Summerset jumped 4.6 per cent after it posted a leap in first-half profit and reassured it could get through a long lockdown if necessary.

US stocks ended on a firm note overnight as commodity prices recovered and regulators granted full approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine.

Economic data proved to be a mixed bag, with July home sales beating forecasts while growth at US services and factories slowed to an eight-month low.

The Dow rose 0.6 per cent, the S&P 500 climbed 0.9 per cent and the-heavy Nasdaq Composite rallied 1.6 per cent.

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