SINGAPORE (AP) — An incredible day on Wall Street, which saw major indexes finishing at least 5 percent higher, spurred early gains in Asia on Thursday as some traders returned from a Christmas break.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rebounded 3.4 percent to 19,986.32. It tumbled more than 5 percent on Tuesday before recovering slightly a day later. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.3 percent to 2,034.19 and the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.7 percent at 2,514.45. Markets in Hong Kong and Australia, which reopened after Christmas, climbed too. The Hang Seng index was 0.7 percent higher at 25,819.22. Australia’s S&P-ASX 200 rallied 1.5 percent to 5,575.60.
HOLIDAY SALES: Trading was buoyed by a data showing that growth of U.S. holiday sales was at six-year high. Retail sales gained 5.1 percent between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 as compared to a year ago, Mastercard SpendingPulse reported. It tracked spending online and in stores across all payment types, including cash and cheque. All in all, shoppers spent more than $850 billion this year, it added.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “Wall Street’s strong rebound on Wednesday inspires gains across to Asia even as the market ponders about the sustainability of this change with the light volume that accompanied,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a market commentary.
U.S.-CHINA TALKS: According to Bloomberg, the U.S. will send government delegation to hold trade talks with Chinese officials in Beijing in the week starting Jan. 7. It cited two people familiar with the matter. This follows a meeting between Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Argentina earlier this month. The two leaders agreed to hold off on additional tariffs for 90 days, to work on disagreements on trade and technology policies.