Asian shares rise following surge in US on stimulus measures

Asian shares rise following surge in US on stimulus measures


TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares rose Thursday, taking their cue from a surge on Wall Street as governments and central banks took more aggressive measures to fight the virus outbreak and its effects on the economy.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1.1% to 21,329.12. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 1.1% to 6,395.70. South Korea's Kospi gained 1.3% to 2,085.26. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 2.1% to 26,771.98, while the Shanghai Composite jumped 1.9% to 3,069.95. India's Sensex climbed 1.2% to 38,854.42.

Shares were also higher in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

Shares in Chinese blue chips rose Thursday in Hong Kong, suggesting “investors' confidence was restored by the surge in U.S. markets. We don't have the panic selling evident last week when the market fell sharply," said Francis Lun, a stock analyst in Hong Kong.

The gains on Wall Street more than recouped big losses from a day earlier as wild, virus-fueled swings around the world's markets extend into a third week.

Stocks rose sharply from the get-go, led by big gains for health care stocks after Joe Biden solidified his contender status for the Democratic presidential nomination. Investors see him as more business-friendly than Bernie Sanders.

The rally's momentum accelerated around midday after House and Senate leadership reached a deal on a bipartisan $8.3 billion bill to battle the coronavirus outbreak. The measure's funds would go toward research into a vaccine, improved tests and drugs to treat infected people.

The S&P 500 rose 4.2% to 3,130.12. The benchmark index has had five days in the last two weeks where it swung by more than 3%. In all of last year, it had just one. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 4.5% to 27,090.86. The Nasdaq climbed 3.8%, to 9,018.09. The index, which is heavily weighted...

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