Asia-Pacific stocks rise as Dow soars to a record close overnight

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific rose in Thursday trade after the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to a record closing high overnight.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 jumped 1.61% as shares of conglomerate Softbank Group surged more than 4%. The Topix index also gained 1.41%.

South Korea’s Kospi rose 2.06% as shares of chipmaker SK Hynix soared more than 6%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia gained 0.94%.

Mainland Chinese stocks were higher as the Shanghai composite gained about 0.6% while the Shenzhen component advanced 0.486%. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong rose 0.62%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.94% higher.

On the earnings front, Standard Chartered is expected to report its 2020 earnings around 12:15 p.m. HK/SIN on Thursday. On Tuesday, HSBC reported full-year earnings that beat expectations and announced a dividend payout for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Overnight stateside, the Dow jumped 424.51 points to a record closing high of 31,961.86. The S&P 500 gained 1.1% to finish its trading day at 3,925.40 while the Nasdaq Composite closed about 1% higher at 13,597.97.

The moves on Wall Street came as U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell continued to downplay the threat of inflation, saying it could take three years to reach the central bank’s target consistently.

In Wednesday’s testimony in front of the House Financial Services Committee, Powell said inflation could be volatile as the economy reopens and there’s increased demand. Still, the Fed chair does not expect inflation to run hot and said the central bank has tools to combat it if it should.

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