Asian shares rise on hopes for drug to treat coronavirus

Asian shares advanced on Thursday, riding a wave of optimism about a possible treatment for the coronavirus that set off a rally on Wall Street powerful enough to override data showing the U.S. economy had logged its worst quarterly performance since 2009.

Asian Shares

  • Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 surged 2.6% in morning trading to 20,277.56.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.3% to 5,461.00.
  • The Shanghai Composite added 1.2% to 2,854.85.
  • Markets in South Korea and Hong Kong were closed for holidays.

Currency Markets

  • The U.S. dollar inched up to 106.69 Japanese yen from 106.67 yen Wednesday.
  • The euro slipped to $1.0869 from $1.0875.

Oil Prices

Oil prices are continuing their extreme swings after a collapse in demand has sent crude storage tanks close to their limits.

  • Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose $1.24 to $16.30 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
  • Brent crude oil, the international standard, rose $1.14 to $23.68 a barrel.

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