Major stock indices across Asia were seen trending upwards, a sign that positive Wall Street sentiments were lifting investor hope globally. U.S. energy and financial shares posted decent gains Tuesday as hope built up that major oil producers meeting in Doha this coming Sunday could agree to reduce oil output, a measure that could lift crude prices further.
Weaker yen driving bargain-hunting in Tokyo
In Japan, a weaker yen drove interest in shares of exporters with banks and automakers registering good performance in Wednesday’s trading. The day seemed to be particularly rewarding for export companies such as Honda Motor Co Ltd. (NYSE:HMC), Panasonic Corporation (OTCMKTS:PCRFY) and Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE:TM), each posting gains of more than 2%. The Nikkei 225 added 452.43 points or 2.8% to 16,381.22.
On the currency side, the dollar was up at 108.50 against the yen, rising off the 18-month low of 107.63 reached on Monday. The weaker yen is sparking interest in bargain-hunting in Japan, but some analysts are worried about the volatility of the currency market and question whether the favorable yen exchange rate will last.
Shanghai Composite soars
In China, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 42.99 points or 1.42% to 3,066.64. The recent upbeat Chinese consumer spending data and positive Wall Street sentiments may be responsible.
South Korea’s KOSPI also benefited from lifted investor sentiments, adding 10.95 point or 0.56% to 1,981.32.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 also gained 79.05 points or 1.6% to 5,054.70.
European shares also appeared to benefit from investor hope that major oil producers would cut oil production and lift crude oil prices. Positive Chinese economic data for March also appeared to lift sentiments in European markets. The FTSE 100 was seen trending up more than 1% and the Stoxx Europe 600 was also up nearly 1.2%. The Stoxx Europe 600 gained 0.5% in the previous session.
U.S. stocks surge
In the U.S., all major indices posted gains, with futures up again this morning. Optimism over an oil production cut appeared to override a recent warning by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the global economy risked stalling.