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Asian Markets Extend Rally After Wall Street Surge

asiancommentary jan22 24mar20 lt

Asian stock markets are notably higher on Wednesday, extending the rally from the previous session, following the overnight gains on Wall Street amid indications U.S. lawmakers are moving closer to passing a massive fiscal stimulus bill worth $2 trillion to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Australian market is surging following the overnight gains on Wall Street.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 201.90 points or 4.26 percent to 4,937.60, after rising to a high of 5,024.50 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is rising 202.60 points or 4.26 percent to 4,955.90. Australian stocks rebounded strongly from a nearly eight-year low on Tuesday.

Among the major miners, BHP is surging more than 7 percent, while Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals are rising almost 6 percent each.

Gold miners are sharply higher after safe-haven gold prices skyrocketed for the second straight session overnight. Evolution Mining is climbing almost 10 percent and Newcrest Mining is rising almost 5 percent.

In the banking sector, ANZ Banking is climbing almost 7 percent, while National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are all higher by more than 5 percent each.

In the oil space, Santos is gaining more than 7 percent, Woodside Petroleum is higher by almost 6 percent and Oil Search is rising almost 3 percent after crude oil prices extended gains overnight.

Virgin Australia has stood down nearly 8,000 of its 10,000 workers until at least the end of May and further cut domestic capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The airline's shares are climbing more than 16 percent.

Cochlear is seeking to eliminate liquidity risk by raising A$850 million amid delays in elective surgeries in several countries due to the coronavirus pandemic. Shares of the medical tech company are in a trading halt.

In economic news, Australia will see February numbers for skilled vacancies today.

The Japanese market is notably higher following the overnight rally on Wall Street. Investors are also relieved that the Tokyo Olympics will only be postponed by a year and not cancelled.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is gaining 866.64 points or 4.79 percent to 18,958.99, after touching a high of 19,140.89 earlier. Japanese stocks posted their biggest single-day gain since February 2016 on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, market heavyweight SoftBank is rising more than 2 percent and Fast Retailing is gaining more than 5 percent.

The major exporters are higher on a weaker yen. Panasonic is climbing 10 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is higher by almost 8 percent, while Sony and Canon are rising almost 3 percent each.

In the oil sector, Inpex is jumping more than 7 percent and Japan Petroleum is gaining more than 6 percent after crude oil prices extended gains overnight.

In the tech space, Advantest is higher by more than 4 percent, while Tokyo Electron is down 0.5 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Tokyo Tatemono is climbing almost 13 percent, Mitsui Fudosan is gaining more than 11 percent and GS Yuasa is higher by almost 10 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 110 yen-range on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Taiwan is surging 4 percent, South Korea is climbing almost 4 percent and Malaysia is gaining more than 3 percent.

Also, Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand are all rising more than 2 percent each, while Shanghai is advancing more than 1 percent. The Indonesian market is closed for a public holiday.

On Wall Street, stocks staged a massive rally on Tuesday amid indications Democrats and Republicans are closing in on an agreement on a massive fiscal stimulus bill. Schumer indicated Democrats are still pushing for increased oversight of a proposed $500 billion bailout fund to help industries that are struggling amid the coronavirus outbreak. Traders were also reacting to President Donald Trump's comments suggesting the coronavirus-related shutdown of much of the country could end sooner than many anticipated.

The Dow skyrocketed 2,112.98 points or 11.3 percent to 20,704.91, the Nasdaq spiked 557.18 points or 8.1 percent to 7,417.86 and the S&P 500 soared 209.93 points or 9.4 percent to 2,447.33.

The major European markets also showed substantial moves to the upside on Tuesday. While the German DAX Index skyrocketed by 11 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index spiked by 9.1 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Tuesday, rising further after gains in the previous session thanks to the Federal Reserve's massive asset-buying scheme. WTI crude oil for May rose $0.65 or about 2.8 percent to $24.01 a barrel.

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