Asian Equities Gain As Fed Pivot Hopes Deepen

Positive sentiment prevailed in most Asian markets on Thursday amidst dovish comments by Federal Reserve officials that markets see as heralding an earlier-than-expected rate cut. Easing inflation in Europe as well as hopes of Chinese stimulus also buoyed market sentiment.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3 percent to finish trading at 3,029.67. The day’s trading ranged between 3,030.91 and 3,013.77. The Shenzhen Component Index dipped 0.2 percent to close at 9,726.92.

The Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 Index climbed or 0.5 percent to end trading at 33,260.14. The day’s trading range was between 33,486.89 and 33,161.07.

Advantest Corp. was the top gainer with a surge of 4.3 percent. NEC Corp., Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Tokyo Gas, and Sumco Corp. all rallied more than 3 percent.

Shiseido plunged more than 5 percent. Nippon Kayaku slipped 3.7 percent. Rakuten, Toku Fudosan, Taisei Corp. all declined more than 2 percent.

The Hang Seng Index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange added 0.3 percent from the previous close to finish trading at 17,042.88. The day’s trading range was between a high of 17,068.26 and a low of 16,863.05.

The Korean Stock Exchange’s Kospi Index advanced 0.6 percent to close trading at 2,535.29. The day’s trading range was between 2,507.80 and 2,535.29.

Australia’s S&P/ASX200 Index closed trading at 7,087.30, adding 0.7 percent. The day’s trading range was between 7022.6 and 7,087.30.

Iress jumped 14.9 percent following publication of upgraded earnings guidance. EML Payments also surged more than 11 percent. Zip gained 6.6 percent followed by St Barbara that added 5 percent and Codan that added 4.7 percent.

Omni Bridgeway slumped 5.5 percent followed by Appen that declined more than 3 percent. AGL Energy, Goodman Group, Mesoblast all slipped more than 2 percent.

The NZX 50 Index of the New Zealand Stock Exchange gained 0.8 percent to close trading at 11,330.20 versus the previous close of 11,235.94. Trading ranged between 11,192.86 and 11,330.63.

Oceania Healthcare surged 5.7 percent. Restaurant Brand New Zealand rallied 4 percent. Air New Zealand, Fletcher Building, Ryman Healthcare all gained more than 3 percent.

EROAD slipped 4.7 percent after a rising streak. Summerset Group Holdings as well as A2 Milk Company slipped more than 2 percent. Arvida Group and Sky Network Television, both declined more than 1 percent.

Wall Street closed on a mixed note on Wednesday amidst dovish comments from Fed officials that boosted rate cut hopes and GDP readings that surpassed the previous estimate. Anxiety ahead of the release of the PCE readings weighed on sentiment.

The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.2 percent to close at 14,258.49 whereas the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged slightly higher to finish trading at 35,430.42.

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