As investors look forward to China’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian stocks have seen a significant increase.
The morning trade saw a 1% increase in the broadest MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside of Japan, reaching a four-month high. Japan’s Nikkei 225 has increased after falling to a three-month low. China abruptly lifted ultra-strict travel and activity restrictions, allowing the virus to infect 1.4 billion people. They are looking beyond the most immediate difficulties.
E-commerce and consumer stocks were among the top gainers in Hong Kong, propelling the Hang Seng 2 percent higher to a six-month high. Reopening hopes pushed China’s yuan to four-month highs, supporting regional stocks and currencies.
On Thursday, the yuan gained about 0.2 percent to 6.8750.
An unofficial ban on Chinese imports of Australian coal has been lifted, and the Australian dollar overnight reached a three-week high of just under $0.69.
The most cautious market was oil, which fell precipitously overnight due to worries that China’s near-term outlook is unstable and that a global slowdown will hurt demand.
Chip-related stocks increased
The Nikkei share average of Japan rose from a three-month low. Chip-related stocks increased along with their US counterparts. Gains were still modest because the outlook was clouded by hawkish central banks around the world.
The Nikkei ended the morning session up 0.3412% at 25,8024.12, reversing an earlier advance that had taken as high as 25,947.10.
The first trading day of 2023, the stock index fell as low as 25,661.89, which was last seen on October 3.
Tokyo Electron, a manufacturer of chip-making equipment, was the strongest supporter, adding 50 points to the Nikkei with a 3.83% increase. Advantest, a manufacturer of chip-testing equipment, gained 2.42%. Nippon Sheet Glass gained the most on the Nikkei, rising 7.59%.
On the other hand, air carriers and rail operators fell as hopes for a big Chinese tourist boost faded, as Japan and many other countries tightened restrictions on mainland visitors due to COVID-19 concerns.