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Asian Markets Rise, Japanese Shares Lead Gains

Stocks in Asia-Pacific rose on Thursday, with Japanese shares leading gains among the region’s major markets.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan jumped 2.38% to close at 29,188.17, recovering partially from two days of losses earlier in the week. The Topix index gained 1.82% to finish the trading day at 1,922.50. South Korea’s Kospi closed 0.18% higher at 3,177.52.

asia markets
Nikkei 225 Index Performance Chart

Stocks in mainland China closed mixed: The Shanghai composite slipped 0.23% to 3,465.11 while the Shenzhen component rose 0.412% to 14,209.44. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose about 0.5% as of its final hour of trading.

Shares in Australia nudged higher as the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.83% to close at 7,055.40.

India’s stocks rose as they resumed trade Thursday following a holiday. The Nifty 50 gained 0.32% while the BSE Sensex edged 0.24% higher, as of around 12:53 p.m. local time. The Covid situation in the country remains serious, with more than 310,000 new daily infections registered on Thursday.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan gained 0.38%.

“Overall, I think markets are still skewed to taking on risk, and I don’t think we’ve seen the final record high by any means in the US stock market or in global equities, at the end of the day, the sell-off earlier this week was just markets whipping around as the froth has blown off risk assets.” Kyle Rodda, Market Analyst, IG Melbourne

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 316.01 points to 34,137.31 while the S&P 500 gained 0.93% to 4,173.42. The Nasdaq Composite rose 1.19% to 13,950.22.

Asian Markets Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 91.008, following an earlier high of 91.152.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.83 per dollar, stronger than levels above 108.4 against the greenback seen earlier in the week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7759, still lower than levels above $0.78 seen earlier this week.

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.4% to $65.06 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 0.44% to $61.08 per barrel.