Asian stocks advanced on Thursday as investors looked forward to Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech on Friday at the central banking conference in Jackson Hole for further cues on the monetary policy outlook.
Powell is widely expected to reiterate the central bank’s hawkish stance, given the expectations that inflation in the U.S. will be persistent and it will take time to contain it.
Chinese shares rose sharply as the country’s energy administration pledged to alleviate electricity shortages in Sichuan and Chongqing, and China’s state cabinet added Rmb300bn ($44bn) in credit support by its policy banks.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite index climbed 0.97 percent to 3,246.25 ahead of interim earnings from oil refiners CNOOC, PetroChina Co and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp.
Hong Kong’s technology-heavy Hang Seng index jumped 3.63 percent to 19,968.38 as trading resumed in the afternoon after a halt due to extreme weather conditions stemming from typhoon Ma-on.
Japanese shares ended higher to snap a five-day losing streak. The Nikkei average rose 0.58 percent to 28,479.01, with drug makers and tech stocks pacing the gainers. The broader Topix index closed 0.48 percent higher at 1,976.60.
Daiichi Sankyo topped the gainers list to close 4.6 percent higher. Mitsubishi Corp added 1.6 percent after the trading house said it would apply for a stake in the new Russian entity that took over the Sakhalin-2 liquefied natural gas project.
Seoul stocks rallied as the Bank of Korea opted for a smaller 25 bps rate hike after delivering a record half percentage points increase last month. The Kospi average jumped 1.22 percent to 2,477.26, extending gains for a second straight session led by tech and bio stocks.
Australian markets rose notably, with mining and energy stocks leading the surge. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index gained 0.71 percent to finish at 7,048.10, while the broader All Ordinaries index rose 0.68 percent to 7,291.90.
Uranium stocks outperformed on reports that Japan is looking at developing next-generation nuclear reactors to stabilize energy supply. Paladin Energy soared 11.6 percent and Deep Yellow climbed 18.3 percent. Media firm Nine Entertainment rallied 9 percent on share buyback-news.
Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX-50 index slipped 0.24 percent to 11,627.14 after the release of weak retail sales data.
U.S. stocks eked out modest gains overnight to snap a three-day losing streak, as a measure of pending home sales fell less than expected in July and new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods came in unchanged.
The Dow edged up 0.2 percent, the S&P 500 gained 0.3 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index added 0.4 percent.
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