DJIA 35719.43 492.40 1.40%
Nasdaq 15686.92 461.76 3.03%
S&P 500 4686.75 95.08 2.07%
FTSE 100 7339.90 107.62 1.49%
Nikkei Stock 28769.33 313.73 1.10%
Hang Seng 23951.83 -31.83 -0.13%
Kospi 3021.29 29.57 0.99%
SGX Nifty* 17323.00 112.0 0.65%
USD/JPY 113.53-54 -0.03%
Range 113.63 113.36
EUR/USD 1.1289-92 +0.20%
Range 1.1292 1.1266
CBOT Wheat Dec $7.992 per bushel
Spot Gold $1,786.02/oz 0.1%
Nymex Crude (NY) $71.41 $1.92
U.S. stock indexes rose sharply on hopes that Omicron would prove less damaging to the economy than feared.
The S&P 500 gained 2.1%, building on Monday's gains and recouping all its losses from last week. The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.4%.
Hopes that the new Covid-19 strain will have a less-pronounced impact on travel and consumer confidence have bolstered stocks this week. Scientists and vaccine makers are still assessing the severity of Omicron and how well existing vaccines may work against it.
Japanese stocks were higher in morning trade, led by gains in electronics as concerns about the Omicron variant ebb, for now. Investors are focusing on any developments over the emerging Covid-19 variant as well as diplomatic tensions between China and the West ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics. The Nikkei Stock Average was recently up 0.8% at 28676.77.
South Korea's Kospi was 0.9% higher at 3017.44 in early trade, tracking Wall Street's gains overnight on receding fears about the Omicron variant of Covid-19. Electronics, battery and biotech stocks led gains. The won's strength against the greenback and foreign investors' net buying of local stocks also supported sentiment.
Hong Kong shares were slightly higher as the market continued to pick up following days of losses. The benchmark Hang Seng Index was up 0.1% at 24005.64. It closed 2.7% higher on Tuesday. Property developers led the morning's gains, as investor concerns over the sector's liquidity eased after Beijing's move to cut its reserve requirement ratio by 50 basis points on Monday. Sentiment was being further supported by the Chinese government's comments that it will support the real-estate industry's healthy development, KGI Securities said. Tech stocks also rebounded, following gains in the U.S. market overnight.
Chinese stocks were broadly higher in early trade. The Shanghai Composite Index was flat at 3595.63, the Shenzhen Composite Index gained 0.2% to 2483.38, while the ChiNext Price Index rose 0.8% to 3394.44. Liquor stocks were among the best performers on improved sentiment, following data that showed China's exports beat expectations in November. Attention will likely be focused on the looming Evergrande fallout and measures the Chinese government may take to contain the effects, OCBC said.
USD/JPY may be supported for now by gains in the stock markets and easing of concerns about the Omicron variant. Strong U.S. economic data are likely to increase expectations for the Fed's faster shift to policy tightening, leading to the pair's further advance. U.S. weekly jobless claims due Thursday and consumer-price index figures on Friday are in focus ahead of Fed's policy meeting next week. USD/JPY was recently at 113.50, compared with 113.57 as of Tuesday 5 p.m. Eastern Time.
Gold was slightly higher, as investors continued to weigh current geopolitical tensions against easing concerns over the Omicron variant, ANZ said. Gold may be pressured in the near term. Rising expectations that the U.S. Fed could reduce its asset purchases at a faster pace and raise interest rates in the next year amid signs of higher inflation could make the precious metal more expensive for holders of other currencies, ICICI Securities said. Spot gold was 0.1% higher at $1,786.02/oz.
Oil was mixed in early Asian trade after rising overnight on eased concerns over the Covid-19 Omicron variant. Oil may be supported by some near-term positive sentiment, thanks to signs of stronger demand, ANZ said. China's oil imports rose to a three-month high in November, as new quotas for refiners were allocated, it noted. The country is one of the world's largest importers of oil. Front-month WTI crude was flat at $72.09/bbl, while Brent was 0.1% higher at $75.49/bbl.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires