Wall Street gains prop up stocks in Asia, Australia

By Staff Writer

Mar 04, 2016 12:46 AM EST

Taking cues from encouraging gains on Wall Street, stock markets in Asia and Australia too moved upwards. Barring Hang Kong, all the major market benchmark indices in Asia and Australia rose. Despite some weaknesses in the US manufacturing sector, encouraging labor market data infused fresh buying interest into the Wall Street. 

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.2 per cent to 5,142.20 while Japan's Nikkei-225 gained 1.3 per cent to 16,960.16 and later marginally retreated during intra-trading. South Korea's Kospi on the other hand, rose 0.6 per cent to 1,958.17. However, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index underperformed other benchmarks in the region as it fell 0.4 per cent to 19,912.45. 

China's Shanghai Composite Index added 0.3 per cent to 2,858.28. Stocks in Taiwan and Southeast Asia were also moving higher. The markets are looking to next non-farm payroll data in the US and meetings of China's National Party Congress, European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of Japan (BoJ), according to Times Colonist.

Angus Nicholson of IG said "While this rally will inevitably have a pullback at some point, the forthcoming US non-farms payroll, China's National Party Congress, ECB and BOJ meetings could all help support this rally in the near term. Of course, the markets currently look like they are pricing good news in from all of them, so an upset from any one could throw the rally off.""

Surge in oil prices supported late bounce on Wall Street and as a result, stocks across the global financial markets rose to two-month high. Crude futures picked up on the news that US stock piles at record high. Market analysts foresee that there wouldn't be any major selloff in oil, according to Reuters.

US crude Brent oil rose 10 cents to $34.76 a barrel in New York and marginally up three cents at $36.96 per barrel in London.. The contract gained 26 cents to $34.66 per barrel. Euro moved down to $1.0863, while US dollar rose to 114.19 yen from 113.61 yen.

However, Asian markets started showing mixed trend during intra-session. Japan's Nikkei-225 index inched down 0.24 percent and Korea's Strait index Kospi was lower by 0.42 percent. Australian mining stocks were active on positive mode. BHP Billiton rose 1.45 percent. Despite surging equities, safe haven assets sustained their higher levels. Spot gold marginally lower 0.31 percent to $1,259 an ounce, as reported by CNBC

Saudi Arabia-led Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) so far has not made any deal on production cut. There was no reduction in supply, nor surge in demand, but, oil prices continued to rise mainly because of sellers exiting the marketplace.

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