Asian stocks surge, Nikkei boosted by Warren Buffett bets

  • Stock Market News
Asian stocks surge, Nikkei boosted by Warren Buffett bets
Credit: © Reuters.

By Ambar Warrick -- Most Asian stock markets rallied on Tuesday as sentiment improved amid less hawkish central bank cues and some improved economic metrics, with Japan’s Nikkei gaining the most on positive comments from Berkshire Hathaway’s (NYSE: BRKa ) Warren Buffett.

The Nikkei 225 index added 1.3%, with shares of the country’s five biggest trading firms up between 2% and 3% and Buffett told the Nikkei Asia daily that Berkshire had increased its stake in the firms.

Buffett also said he intended to invest further in Japanese stocks. The Nikkei 225 has somewhat outpaced its regional peers this year on bets that the Bank of Japan will keep monetary policy loose for longer.

Other Asian markets also advanced, with South Korea’s KOSPI up 1.3% after the Bank of Korea kept interest rates steady for a second consecutive month. The bank had recently paused its rate hike cycle on the grounds that inflation had peaked.

Australia’s ASX 200 index also added 1.3% after data showed that consumer sentiment improved much more than expected in early-April, after the Reserve Bank paused its rate hike cycle .

The gains helped spruce up Asian markets ahead of more cues on the U.S. economy from inflation data due on Wednesday. The minutes of the Federal Reserve’s March meeting are also due on the same day, and are expected to provide more cues on the path of monetary policy.

U.S. nonfarm payrolls data released last week offered mixed cues to markets, as while it read lower than expected, it still signaled some resilience in the U.S. jobs market, which gives the Fed enough headroom to keep raising rates.

Chinese stocks were among the few outliers for the day, with the Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 and Shanghai Composite indexes falling 0.3% and 0.4%, respectively.

Data showed that Chinese consumer inflation grew less than expected in March, while producer price inflation continued to fall amid weak local consumption and slowing manufacturing activity.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also lagged its regional peers, given that the data signals a staggered economic recovery in the Chinese economy.

India’s BSE Sensex 30 and Nifty 50 indexes rose 0.4% each in early trade, extending gains after the Reserve Bank of India unexpectedly held interest rates and signaled a potential pause on future hikes.

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