Asian Stocks Push Higher After Late U.S. Rally: Markets Wrap

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Asian Stocks Push Higher After Late U.S. Rally: Markets Wrap
Credit: © Reuters.

(Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks opened higher Friday, after a late-session rally in U.S. shares, as investors continued to gauge the implications of the spreading coronavirus.

Stocks climbed in Japan, South Korea and Australia, with a regional Asian benchmark on track for its first gains in seven sessions. The S&P 500 Index, after a slide of nearly 1%, closed higher Thursday after the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency, while saying travel and trade restrictions weren’t necessary. Treasuries traded flat, while China's yuan is stronger than 7 per dollar after briefly weakening past the level Thursday.

Elsewhere, Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN ). soared in after-market trading after a strong earnings report. Oil pushed higher.

While the epidemic that began in China continues to spread and the human toll mounts, the WHO comments suggested that efforts to contain the outbreak are robust. The organization commended China’s efforts to contain the disease. That was enough for investors to halt a flight from risk assets in the final hour of U.S. equity trading.

“The market maybe doesn’t really know how to process the impact of this particular event,” Kathryn Kaminski, chief research strategist at AlphaSimplex Group, said by phone. “People may be moving on headlines or there may also be general concern about not being sure what this means.”

Still, corporations are grappling with the rapidly spreading of the coronavirus that threatens the world’s second-largest economy. Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) Inc. expects a production delay in China, McDonald’s Corp. and Starbucks Corp (NASDAQ: SBUX ). closed thousands of stores combined in the country while Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL ). is preparing for supply-chain disruptions. The hit could exceed that seen during the SARS outbreak of 2003, according to Nomura Holdings Inc.

Traders also assessed a flurry of corporate earnings. Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) topped a $1 trillion market capitalization in after-hours trading after reporting a 21% surge in fourth-quarter sales and profit that crushed Wall Street estimates.

Here are some events to watch out for this week:

  • China reports manufacturing and services purchasing-manager indexes Friday
  • South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix, Chevron (NYSE: CVX ), Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT ) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM ) report earnings on Friday.
  • The U.K. is scheduled to leave the European Union Friday.
These are some of the main moves in markets:


  • Japan’s Topix Index rose 0.9% as of 9:05 a.m in Tokyo.
  • S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.4%.
  • Kospi Index rose 0.4%.
  • Futures on the S&P 500 Index were little changed after the gauge advanced 0.3% Thursday.
  • {{28930|FTSE Ch China A50 futures climbed 1.6% earlier.

  • The Japanese yen was little changed at 108.94 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan was little changed at 6.9874 per dollar.
  • The euro was flat at $1.1028.

  • Yields on 10-year Treasuries were little changed at 1.58%.
  • Australian 10-year yields were at 0.96%.

  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.4% to $52.85 a barrel.
  • Gold was flat at $1,574 an ounce.

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