Asian shares mostly up on Wall Street rally, stimulus hopes

Asian shares were mostly higher Friday on hopes for additional economic stimulus after U.S. Congress confirmed Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election.

Hopes are also growing about the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines to help daily life around the world get closer to normal. That has investors anticipating a explosive return to growth for corporate profits later this year.

Asian Shares

  • Japan’s state of emergency to combat surging coronavirus cases, which kicked in Friday, did little to dampen market optimism.
  • The benchmark Nikkei 225 jumped 1.7% in morning trading to 27,965.50.
  • South Korea’s Kospi gained 2.5% to 3,107.39.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.3% to 6,734.50.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added nearly 0.9% to 27,788.46.
  • The Shanghai Composite was little changed, inching down less than 0.1% to 3,575.60.

Oil Prices

  • In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude added 32 cents to $51.15 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 20 cents on Thursday to $50.83 per barrel.
  • Brent crude, the international standard, rose 29 cents to $54.67 a barrel.

Currency

  • In currency trading, the U.S. dollar rose to 103.83 Japanese yen from 103.80 yen late Thursday.
  • The euro cost $1.2260, down from $1.2270.

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