Asia report: Japan leads recovery in positive session
Most markets in Asia closed in the green on Thursday, with Tokyo’s bourse leading the gains after two days of losses.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 jumped 2.38% to 29,188.17, as the yen strengthened 0.06% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 108.02.
Of the major components on the benchmark index, robotics specialist Fanuc was up 2.26%, Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing added 2.5%, and technology giant SoftBank Group advanced 1.79%.
The broader Topix index was 1.82% firmer by the end of trading in Tokyo, settling at 1,922.50
On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was the region’s odd one out, falling 0.21% to 3,465.11, as the smaller, technology-centric Shenzhen Composite managed gains of 0.48% to 2,288.19.
South Korea’s Kospi eked out a rise of 0.18% to 3,177.52, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong was up 0.47% to 28,755.34.
The blue-chip technology stocks were mixed in Seoul, with Samsung Electronics down 0.24%, while SK Hynix rose 0.38%.
“Stock markets across Europe and Asia were generally in positive territory on Thursday, thanks to positive earnings reports from some big-name companies and a strong showing from miners and industrials,” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.
Covid-19 was still very much a concern in the region, however, with more than 310,000 new infections reported in India alone on Thursday.
“While the US and UK appear for now to be on top of the virus, it is still running riot in Asia, with India and Japan suffering acutely, while the situation in Europe appears to have steadied for the time being,” commented CMC Markets chief market analyst Michael Hewson.
Oil prices were lower as the region went to bed, with Brent crude last down 0.4% at $65.06 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate falling 0.38% to $61.12.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was ahead 0.83% at 7,055.40, while across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 advanced 0.34% to 12,577.48.
Both of the down under dollars were weaker against the greenback, with the Aussie last off 0.03% at AUD 1.2901, and the Kiwi retreating 0.32% to NZD 1.3914.
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