Asian Shares Follow Wall Street Higher

Asian stocks gained ground on Tuesday as upbeat manufacturing activity data from the U.S., Europe and China helped offset Covid-19 worries.

Investors braced for increased volatility as the U.S. presidential election kicked off after months of high-voltage campaigning. The Japanese market was closed in observance of Culture Day.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index jumped 45.95 points, or 1.4 percent, to 3,271.07 on optimism the economy is recovering from the initial virus outbreaks. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rallied 479.72 points, or 2 percent, to 24,939.73.

Retail sales in Hong Kong declined 13.4 percent year-on-year in September, the same as in August, official data showed. The value of retail sales decreased 12.9 percent annually in September following a 13.1 percent fall in the preceding month.

Australian markets rallied as the Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates to a new low and announced a bigger foray into quantitative easing to support job creation and the recovery of the economy from the coronavirus pandemic.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index spiked 115.10 points, or 1.9 percent, to 6,066.40, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 115.40 points, or 1.9 percent, at 6,262.80.

Mining heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto rallied 2.6 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively, while banks ANZ and Commonwealth rose over 1 percent.

Gold miner Evolution Mining gained 1.8 percent and Newcrest advanced 2.5 percent.
A rebound in oil prices pushed energy stocks higher, with Woodside Petroleum, Origin Energy, Oil Search and Santos surging 5-7 percent.

Seoul stocks rose sharply in the final hours before results of the U.S. election start coming in. Joe Biden has had a clear advantage over Donald Trump in most polls, but the race in swing states is seen as close. The benchmark Kospi gained 43.15 points, or 1.9 percent, to finish at 2,343.31.

Consumer prices in South Korea were up just 0.1 percent year-on-year in October, Statistics Korea said today. That was well shy of forecasts for an increase of 0.7 percent and down sharply from 1.0 percent in September.

New Zealand shares advanced, with energy stocks gaining ground on optimism the newly formed government would extend the life of the Tiwai Point aluminum smelter.

The benchmark NZX-50 index rose 59.48 points, or 0.5 percent, to 12,130.31, with both Meridian Energy and Contact Energy rising over 2 percent. Pushpay Holdings surged 4.6 percent and Fletcher Building added 3.3 percent.

U.S. stocks ended on a buoyant note overnight as investors cheered upbeat manufacturing data from China, Europe and the United States.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.6 percent, the S&P 500 rose 1.2 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 0.4 percent.

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