TOKYO – Asian shares rose Wednesday after Wall Street extended its gains for the third straight day, driven by optimism over economies reopening from shutdowns to stem the coronavirus pandemic.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 1.1% to 22,581.19 in morning trading. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.8% to 5,882.60. South Korea's Kospi surged 2.6% to 2,141.28.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 1% to 5,894.00. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 1.1% at 24,258.49, while the Shanghai Composite added 0.4% to 2,931.90.
“The theme of reopening optimism has its stronghold on markets going into the midweek, one to likewise inspire Asia markets gains despite the series of ongoing concerns,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist for IG in Singapore.
Among such concerns are the future of the two major economies of the world, China and the U.S and whether widespread protests in the U.S. will set off another rise in COVID-19 cases.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 closed 0.8% higher, at 3,080.82, after wavering throughout the morning. Technology, industrial and health care sector stocks accounted for a big slice of the gains. Energy stocks far outpaced the rest of the market as the price of crude rose ahead of a meeting of major oil producers. Bond yields climbed, another sign of ebbing pessimism among investors.
So far, Wall Street’s momentum has not been derailed by the wave of daily unrest across the U.S. that began last week in Minneapolis as a protest over police brutality. Cities across the country have been rocked by violence and destruction for seven days in a row, drawing threats from the White House to send troops in to put down the unrest.
“The market action seems to have a lot more to do with people’s confidence about the economic reopening,” said Tom Hainlin, national investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. “It’s happening irrespective to what we’re seeing socially across the country right now.”