Asian Markets Surge After Wall Street Highs: Report

Fri Feb 16 2024
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HONG KONG: Asian markets surged Friday, supported by eurozone and Wall Street records, as traders shrugged off weak retail sales in the United States and recession in Japan and Britain.

US and European stocks rose Thursday, with the broad-based S&P 500 up 0.6% to finish at an all-time high, along with Frankfurt and Paris.

London equities advanced despite official data showing Britain entered recession at the end of 2023, as growing inflation prolonged a cost-of-living crisis, AFP reported.

Japan also entered recession in the back end of last year, according to data released Thursday, with the Asian country overtaken by Germany as the world’s third-biggest economy.

But overall Asian shares were advanced to their 4th consecutive weekly gain, possibly recording the longest winning streak in over a year unless they face an unlikely decline of over 1% on Friday, said Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management.

Despite the recession woes and US retail sales dipping more than expected last month, Innes said the regional and international interest rate environment remains supportive for risk markets.

The US Commerce Department reported a larger-than-expected drop in retail sales on Thursday, a 0.8% retreat after the winter holidays suggesting dampened consumer sentiment.

Figures released on Tuesday showing the US consumer price index slowed less than expected last month dealt a blow to hopes of an early interest rate slash by the Fed and had sent Asian indices mostly lower. But investors returned to buying on expectations borrowing costs will be dropped later this year.

Hong Kong added to its gains from the past two sessions, with investors were waiting for the new US inflation data release of later in the day.

Other markets

Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul, Sydney, Manila, Bangkok and Wellington rose in early trade.

Jakarta stocks also advanced Friday morning, as Indonesia’s election commission results, with half of the ballots counted, showed Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto was on course to win the country’s presidential election by a wide margin.

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