Asian stocks advanced on Thursday as renewed optimism about economic and earnings growth outweighed worries over a spike in COVID-19 cases in the region and elsewhere around the world.

Chinese shares eked out modest gains, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite index ending up 12.07 points, or 0.34 percent, at 3,574.73. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index settled at 27,723.84, up 499.26 points, or 1.83 percent, from its previous close.

China Evergrande Group shares surged 7.9 percent after the highly indebted property group announced it had resolved a legal dispute with a Chinese bank.

Japanese markets were closed for a long weekend ahead of the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics games.

Seoul stocks rose sharply to snap a four-day losing streak on hopes for robust second-quarter earnings. The benchmark Kospi edged up 34.30 points, or 1.07 percent, to 3,250.21 despite the number of daily new coronavirus cases hitting a fresh record of 1,842.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics advanced 1.5 percent and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix climbed 2.1 percent.

Naver shares jumped 2.8 percent after the country’s top internet portal operator posted strong earnings in the second quarter. Likewise, steelmaker POSCO soared 4.7 percent after posting its higher ever quarterly profit.

Australian markets rallied after Wall Street ended higher for a second straight session overnight.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index jumped 77.70 points, or 1.06 percent, to 7,386.40 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended up 78 points, or 1.03 percent, at 7,658.90.

BHP Group climbed 3.1 percent after the world’s largest miner struck a nickel supply deal with U.S. electric carmaker Tesla. Rio Tinto added 1.2 percent while Iluka Resources surged as much as 7.2 percent.

Gold miner Northern Star Resources soared 5.4 percent after it signed a deal to sell its Kundana assets to Evolution Mining. Shares of the latter went into a trading halt.

Energy stocks such as Woodside Petroleum and Origin Energy rose about 3 percent after oil prices rose more than 4 percent on Wednesday to extend gains from the previous session.

Santos gained 2.6 percent after it delivered record-high quarterly sales revenue.
Zip company shares plunged 7.8 percent after the BNPL firm unveiled a new unified purpose and brand identity.

New Zealand shares ended a choppy session little changed, with the benchmark NZX-50 index settling 11.70 points higher at 12,720.84.

U.S. stocks rose for the second straight session overnight after a troubling start to the week on fears about a resurgence in coronavirus cases.

The Dow and the S&P 500 gained around 0.8 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 0.9 percent, powered by strong earnings from several big-name companies.

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