A strong performance on Wall Street on Thursday and a rebound in Hong Kong the previous session following a steep plunge earlier in the week is expected to lead to stronger openings in the Asia-Pacific region on Friday.
In the U.S., the major stock indexes rose to record levels as investors shrugged off economic data pointing toward slower-than-expected growth. Investors also showed a delayed reaction to dovish news from the Federal Reserve the previous session.
Many investors were relieved that the Federal Reserve signaled no imminent plans for dialing back asset purchases. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell cautioned that although the economy is making progress towards its goals, it has a ways to go before the central bank would actually adjust its easy policies.
In economic news, U.S. second-quarter gross domestic product accelerated 6.5% on an annualized basis, considerably less than the 8.4% Dow Jones estimate.
Meanwhile, a separate data point showed that 400,000 people filed initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ended July 24. That level is nearly double the pre-pandemic norm and above a Dow Jones estimate of 385,000.
Asia-Pacific Investors Hoping to Feed Off Wall Street’s Gains
Asia-Pacific investors are hoping to build on gains from Thursday fueled by a rebound in Hong Kong from a two-day slump earlier in the week and after the U.S. Federal Reserve left its benchmark interest rate near zero.
On Thursday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 3.3% to close at 26,315.32. The index had dived more than 8% over two days early this week.
Meanwhile, Chinese tech stocks in Hong Kong, which were hit hard by the market rout earlier in the week, soared. Shares of Tencent jumped 10.02% while Alibaba gained 7.7% and Meituan climbed 9.49%. The Hang Seng Tech Index soared 8% to 6,958.77.
Helping to ease concerns in the region was the news that China’s securities regulators told brokerages late Wednesday that the country will allow Chinese firms to go public in the U.S. as long as they meet listing requirements, a source familiar with the matter told CNBC.
Traders should pay particular attention to the Australian stock market. Prices should firm because of strength in the energy and gold sectors due to strong gains on Thursday. Crude oil futures settled 1.41% higher. Gold futures posted a 1.54% gain.