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Updated December 27th, 2023 at 11:13 IST

Asian shares climb, tracking advance on Wall Street in final week of 2023

Asian shares mostly advanced on Wednesday, tracking Wall Street gains as markets there reopened for what's expected to be a quiet, holiday-shortened week of trading. US futures were lower and oil prices reversed their gains as tensions rose in the Middle East.

Asian markets
Asian shares climb, tracking advance on Wall Street in final week of 2023 | Image:Pexels
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Asian shares mostly advanced on Wednesday, tracking Wall Street gains as markets there reopened for what's expected to be a quiet, holiday-shortened week of trading.

 

US futures were lower and oil prices reversed their gains as tensions rose in the Middle East.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index added 1.2 per cent to Rs 33,708.33 as details of a policy meeting by the Bank of Japan showed officials divided about the timing and need to shift away from the central bank's longstanding lax monetary policy.

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Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 1.7 per cent to Rs 16,617.50 and the Shanghai Composite gained 0.4 per cent to Rs 2,911.70 with Chinese video gaming companies, including Tencent and NetEase, recouping losses in the first Hong Kong trading session after the government attempted to alleviate market fears about draft guidelines to impose controls over how companies earn money from games. However, the gains were dwarfed by the losses from a broad sell-off on Friday.

NetEase's Hong Kong-traded shares gained 10.4 per cent, after its Nasdaq-listed stock added 5.2 per cent on Tuesday. Tencent's were up 5.9 per cent in Hong Kong and Bilibili added 7.5 per cent.

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The Kospi in Seoul edged 0.1 per cent lower to Rs 2,601.44. In Sydney, the SandP/ASX 200 was 1 per cent higher at Rs 7,573.70.

Bangkok's SET was up 0.1 per cent and the Sensex in Mumbai climbed 0.2 per cent.

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Tuesday on Wall Street, the SandP 500 rose 0.4 per cent to Rs 4,774.75, finishing less than 0.5 per cent below its all-time high set nearly two years ago. The benchmark index is coming off eight straight weekly gains, its longest winning streak since 2017.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4 per cent to Rs 37,545.33, while the Nasdaq composite ended 0.5 per cent higher to Rs 15,074.57.

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Trading was relatively light as US markets reopened following the Christmas Day holiday. Still, the latest gains were widespread, with advancers outnumbering decliners by nearly 3 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Technology and industrial stocks accounted for a big share of the gains. Intel climbed 5.2 per cent for the biggest gain among SandP 500 stocks. Caterpillar added 1.8 per cent.

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Energy stocks climbed as the price of US crude oil rose 2.7 per cent. Hess closed 1.4 per cent higher.

Solid gains by smaller company stocks also helped lift the market, pushing the Russell 2000 index 1.2 per cent higher.

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Treasury yields were mixed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury held steady at 3.90 per cent.

Some stocks surged on company deal news. Drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb said Tuesday that it will acquire RayzeBio in a USD 4.1 billion deal, just days after buying Karuna Therapeutics for USD 14 billion. Bristol-Myers shares fell 1.6 per cent, while RayzeBio doubled to USD 61.40, close to the USD 62.50 that each share will fetch in its acquisition.

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Shares in HollySys Automation Technologies jumped 5.2 per cent after the company received an updated buyout offer from a consortium led by Dazheng Group Acquisition.

Stratasys vaulted 13 per cent to USD 14.82 per share after Nano Dimension announced it has offered to pay USD 16.50 per share in cash for the buy the maker of 3D printers. Stratasys rejected an earlier buyout bid from Nano Dimension in April.

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Gracell Biotechnologies surged 60.3 per cent after the Shanghai-based biopharmaceutical company agreed to be acquired by AztraZeneca.

With less than a week to go in 2024, the SandP 500 is now up more than 24 per cent for the year, while the Nasdaq is up 44 per cent.

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Investors have been encouraged by reports showing inflation is on the decline even as the economy appears stronger than expected.

The Federal Reserve is walking a tightrope, seeking to slow the economy enough through elevated interest rates to cool inflation, but not so much that it tips the nation into recession.

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In other trading early Wednesday, US benchmark crude oil lost 16 cents to USD 75.41 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, gave up 7 cents to USD 80.78 per barrel.

The US dollar rose to 142.59 Japanese Yen from 142.38 Yen. The Euro slipped to USD 1.1041 from USD 1.1044.

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Published December 27th, 2023 at 11:13 IST

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