Japan stocks jump more than 6% as Fed ramps up stimulus measures; Softbank surges almost 19%

Stocks in Asia jumped in Tuesday morning trade as authorities ramped up stimulus measures to combat the economic impact of the global coronavirus outbreak.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 led gains among the region’s major markets as it surged 6.41% in morning trade as shares of index heavyweights Fast Retailing and Softbank Group soared 10.99% and 18.83%, respectively, while the Topix rose 2.76%.

In South Korea, the Kospi also rose 6.42%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also jumped 3.69% in morning trade, with shares of Chinese tech juggernaut Tencent soaring more than 4%.

Mainland Chinese stocks also saw gains, with the Shanghai composite up 1.84% while the Shenzhen composite added 1.745%.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia advanced, with the S&P/ASX 200 up around 2.6%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 4.01% higher.

The U.S. Federal Reserve announced an open-ended asset purchase program on Monday. The central bank said the program will run in the “amounts needed to support smooth market functioning and effective transmission of monetary policy to broader financial conditions and the economy.”  

“The Fed has committed to buying debt, not just government and residential mortgage backed securities but now for the first time commercial mortgages (paper backed by office buildings and the like),” Ray Attrill, head of foreign exchange strategy at National Australia Bank, wrote in a note.

“Unlike during the post (global financial crisis) when there were quantitative limits on how much the Fed would buy each month, purchase amounts are now unlimited,” Attrill said.

Meanwhile, Germany is set to unveil major stimulus measures as the death toll from the virus rises throughout Europe. Both the region and the U.S. have seen a dramatic increase in the number of infected in recent weeks.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 582.05 points lower at 18,591.93⁠ — its lowest closing level since November 2016. The S&P 500 fell 2.9% to end its trading day at 2,237.40 while the Nasdaq Composite closed 0.3% lower at 6,860.67.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 101.732 after seeing an earlier high of 102.213.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.16 per dollar after seeing highs below 110 yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.5938 after rising from levels around $0.57 yesterday.

Oil prices were up in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures 4.48% higher at $28.24 per barrel while U.S. crude futures added 5.52% to $24.65 per barrel.

— CNBC’s Fred Imbert contributed to this report.

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