BEIJING (AP) – Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher on Wednesday after President Joe Biden reassured investors by calling for vaccinations and testing, but no travel restrictions in response to the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul advanced while Shanghai was down less than 0.1%.
Wall Street rose, breaking a three-day drop and recouping the previous day’s losses.
Biden said the government would provide 500 million free rapid test kits and increase vaccination efforts, but gave no indication of travel ban plans or other restrictions that could disrupt the economy. Other governments in Asia and Europe have tightened travel controls or pushed back plans to ease restrictions already in place.
Biden “has provided much needed assurances to the markets,” IG’s Yeap Jun Rong said in a report.
The Shanghai Composite Index fell to 3,623.14 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 0.2% to 28,562.21. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.2% to 23,004.11.
The Kospi in Seoul rose 0.3% to 2,984.48, while the S & P-ASX 200 in Sydney rose 0.1% to 7,364.80. India’s Sensex index rose 0.7% to 56,699.01.
New Zealand retreated as Southeast Asian markets advanced.
Traders were shaken by official claims that omicron was spreading faster than expected after markets pushed up the prices of airline, cruise line, oil and other travel-related stocks because stricter controls could be avoided.
It comes against a backdrop of expectations of a tightening of US monetary policy after the Federal Reserve last week indicated it would speed up plans to remove economic stimulus that have pushed up stock prices. The Fed changed course after inflation hit a four-decade high of 6.8% in November.
Traders are also worried about the impact of disruptions to the global supply chain fueling fears of higher inflation.
On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 rose 1.8% to 4,649.23. The benchmark is less than 1.4% of its all-time high on December 10.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.6% to 35,492.70. The Nasdaq composite gained 2.4% to 15,341.09.
Almost five stocks each rose on the New York Stock Exchange.
Citrix Systems climbed 13.6% for the S&P 500’s biggest gain. Micron Technology jumped 10.5% after the chipmaker gave investors encouraging earnings forecasts.
Retailers. restaurant chains and other businesses that depend on consumer spending have also increased. Tesla climbed 4.3%, Amazon.com climbed 2%, and Starbucks climbed 2.1%.
In energy markets, benchmark US crude climbed 12 cents to $ 71.24 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose from $ 2.89 on Tuesday to $ 71.12. Brent crude, the basis of international oil prices, slipped 2 cents to $ 73.96 a barrel in London. He earned $ 2.46 the previous session to $ 73.98.
The dollar rose to 114.16 yen from 114.12 yen on Tuesday. The euro fell to $ 1.1267 from $ 1.1282.
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