Nikkei leads gains in Asia after tech stocks boosted Wall Street

Shares in Asian markets were up Thursday after seeing the Wall Street gains thanks to a boost from upbeat earnings and a strong consumer confidence reading.

The biggest beneficiary was Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index which rose 2.7 percent, with property and technology stocks leading gains. However, Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Component in Mainland China were down 0.46 percent and 0.33 percent respectively.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.53 percent to 7,152.5 after its foreign minister, Penny Wong, met her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Wednesday where the two sides agreed to “restart dialogue” on trade and economic issues.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 0.46 percent to 26,507.87, while the Topix gained 0.78 percent to 1,908.17 after two sessions of losses. The Japanese yen strengthened further to stand at 131.94 against the U.S. dollar.

The Kospi in South Korea gained 1.19 percent up to 2,356.73 as the nation’s annualized producer price index for November reached its lowest reading in 19 months.

Wall Street

On Wednesday, the US Stocks jumped significantly, rising for a second day, after upbeat earnings reports from two bellwethers raised hopes that corporate earnings may be better than feared even with a potential recession.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 526.74 points, or 1.6 percent, to finish at 33,376.48. The S&P 500 surged 1.49 percent to settle at 3,878.44, while the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.54 percent to end at 10,709.37.

It was possible after Nike surged 12 percent after beating Wall Street’s expectations for quarterly earnings and revenue. The results lifted other retail stocks. The sports apparel maker also showed progress in its attempt to clear through inventory, posting a decline over the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, FedEx gained 3.4 percent after reporting earnings per share that beat estimates. The company also shared a slew of cost-cutting plans.

Better-than-expected consumer confidence data for December, which jumped to the highest level since April, also boosted investor sentiment.

With the end of 2022 in sight, all three major averages are on pace to snap a 3-year win streak and post their worst year since 2008. The Dow’s down 8.15 percent for the year and 3.51 percent this month, while the S&P has shed 18.63 percent and 4.94 percent respectively. The Nasdaq plummeted 31.55 percent in 2022 and 6.62 percent in December.

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