Asian shares mostly higher

Published On: February 3, 2021Categories: Stocks & Shares1.6 min read

Nikkei 225 gained 0.7%, the Kospi rose 0.1%, and S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.9%

Asian shares opened mostly higher on Wednesday although markets in Shanghai and Hong Kong were lower. The advance followed a broad rally on Wall Street, with solid contributions from Big Tech companies, banks and other sectors.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.7% to 28,552.31 and the Kospi in South Korea edged 0.1% higher to 3,100.35. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 surged 0.9% to 6,098.59. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong declined 0.7% to 29, 052.90 while the Shanghai Composite index dropped 0.3% to 3,524.34.

Overnight, Big Tech companies and banks helped power a broad rally on Wall Street Tuesday, though shares in GameStop and other recent high-flying stocks hyped by online traders plunged.

The S&P 500 rose 1.4%, extending gains from a day earlier, as investors sized up the latest batch of company earnings reports. Rising crude oil prices and solid earnings results helped lift energy companies, including Exxon Mobil and Marathon Petroleum. Treasury yields rose and the VIX, a measure of fear in the market, fell sharply, a sign volatility was easing.

The wave of buying coincided with a skid in GameStop and AMC Entertainment, stocks that have been caught up in a speculative frenzy by traders in online forums and on social media who seek to inflict damage on Wall Street hedge funds that have bet these stocks would fall. The price of silver, which spiked 9% Monday, fuelling speculation the precious metal was also being hyped up by online traders, sank by more than 10%.

Certainly, there’s been some profit-taking in these names, said Ross Mayfield, investment strategist at Baird. You saw with silver, there was an attempt to try a similar cornering of the market, and that didn’t even last two days.

The S&P 500 index rose 52.45 points to 3,826.31. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 475.57 points, or 1.6%, to 30,687.48. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite climbed 209.38 points, or 1.6%, to 13,612.78. The Russell 200 index of smaller companies also rose, adding 25.28 points, or 1.2%, to 2,151.44. The major indexes remain near their all-time highs set last month.

Treasury yields rose in another sign of investor confidence. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.10% from 1.06% late Monday.

About the Author: Jonathan Adams

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