Asia Pacific equities rose on Friday following three days of gains in U.S. markets, while investment sentiment rose on confidence in measures taken by central banks and the world government to combat the economic disaster of the coronavirus pandemic.
During the night, US claims for unemployment benefits skyrocketed to 3.3 million, the largest by far in history and rising from around 200,000 three weeks ago. A $ 2 trillion stimulus law to help businesses and workers stay afloat is awaiting the passage of the United States House on Friday evening, now in Hong Kong, and President Donald Trump promises to sign it.
The United States is the largest economy in the world and Hong Kong and other markets in the Asia-Pacific area tend to take inspiration from the Wall Street performance at night.
The Hang Seng index gained 1.6 percent at 9:40 am, while the Shanghai composite index rose 0.9 percent.
From Tokyo to Seoul, other markets in the Asia-Pacific area also increased. Australia was the outlier and it was only a little down.
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But while markets are reevaluating recent dips, the virus continues its vicious march around the world.
The United States, becoming the epicenter of the health catastrophe, now has the largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and the New York Times, with over 82,000. Sad scenes are emerging: nurses wearing plastic bags due to inadequate protective gear, a makeshift morgue set up outside a New York City hospital awaiting an unexpected increase in deaths from viruses and discussions taking place in medical circles about non-resuscitation policies for coronavirus patients.
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Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, promising to do whatever it takes on the NBC Today Show, said the US economy could rebound in the second quarter of the year. The Fed lowered its benchmark to near zero and launched an unlimited bond purchase program.
“We won’t run out of ammo. It doesn’t happen,” Powell said.
“There is nothing fundamentally wrong with our economy,” said Powell. “We start from a very strong position. This is not something wrong with the economy.”
More than 22,000 people have died worldwide and a third of the planet’s population is in a state of blockade.
“Jobless claims were horrible, and there is no way to cover this, but the market never lives in the present. Fed bazookas seem to filter, and that’s a huge positive that the market is working with,” he said. Stephen Innes, chief strategist of the global market at the AxiCorp currency trading platform.
“With their political design, the US dollar is starting to curb its run, and most importantly, the panels reported by the Fed’s policies have started to show signs of less stress. So while unemployment demands were bleak, investors like what they see as the Fed bazooka shots seem to hit their targets. ”
In the region, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 2.5 percent.
Seoul’s Kospi gained 2.7 percent. The heavily technological Kosdaq grew 3.8 percent.
Australian S & P / ASX200 fell 0.4 percent, following a 5.5 percent increase on Wednesday and an acceleration of 2.3 percent on Thursday.
New Zealand’s S&P / NZX50 gained 2.5%.
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