Asian stocks climbed on Thursday after the biggest rally in U.S. equities since 2009 offered relief from this month’s wrenching global market downturn. Japanese benchmarks jumped about 4 percent at the open and Australian shares advanced more than 1 percent as trading resumed after holidays there. Korean stocks were flat, however, and U.S. futures dipped, suggesting the follow-through from the blow-out session on Wall Street — where key indexes climbed about 5 percent or more — has limits. Crude oil prices built on gains of more than 8 percent overnight. Ten-year Treasury yields are holding around 2.80 percent. Some 99 percent of S&P 500 members finished in the green, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped more than 1,050 points for its biggest-ever point gain.
“We’re going to have a lot of volatility. But this base case of ‘the world is coming to an end,’ just given the fundamental data out there, doesn’t make any sense.” Gershon Distenfeld, AllianceBernstein co-head of fixed income, said on Bloomberg TV.
Consumer shares paced the rally in the U.S., with Amazon jumping 9.5 percent after reporting record holiday sales. Each member of the FAANG cohort rallied at least 6.4 percent, while energy producers surged as crude powered past $46 a barrel. All 30 Dow members gained, with Nike and Apple rising more than 7 percent.
President Donald Trump said a day earlier that the rout that took stocks down 19.8 percent from a record provided a “tremendous opportunity to buy.” Investors also welcomed White House adviser Kevin Hassett’s assurance that Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s job is “100 percent” safe. Stocks are looking to stop one of the most miserable Decembers on record, as a host of headwinds combined to drag down America’s benchmark index.
A reminder that consumers — a key part of the American economy — remain on solid footing helped soothe anxiety created by fears of a global slowdown and personnel churn in the U.S. administration. A late report that a U.S. government delegation will travel to Beijing in two weeks to hold trade talks gave stocks a final push higher.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 1.1 percent as of 9:08 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Topix gained 3.9 percent and the Nikkei 225 rose 3.8 percent. Futures on the S&P 500 Index dipped 0.2 percent. The underlying gauge rose 4.96 percent at the close in New York, after falling within two points of a bear market earlier in the session. The Nasdaq 100 surged 6.2 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 1,086 points. Futures on the FTSE China A50 climbed 1.2 percent earlier. Kospi dropped 0.3 percent.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed 0.3 percent Wednesday. The euro was at $1.1365 after falling 0.3 percent. The Japanese yen traded at 111.30 per dollar after sliding almost 1 percent Wednesday. China’s offshore yuan was little changed at 6.8915 per dollar.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries was at 2.80 percent after climbing almost 7 basis points.
West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.6 percent to $46.49 a barrel after gaining 8.7 percent Wednesday. Gold was flat at $1,269.48 an ounce.