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Asia-Pacific stocks trade higher following Wall Street bounce; Yum China debuts in Hong Kong

Stocks in Asia-Pacific traded higher Thursday morning following an overnight bounce for shares stateside.

Mainland Chinese stocks were higher in early trade, with the Shanghai composite up 0.75% while the Shenzhen component jumped 1.308%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 0.23%. Shares of Yum China slipped more than 4% from their issue price in early trade following the stock’s debut in the city.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.57% in morning trade while the Topix index advanced 0.72%.

South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.72%. Shares of Kakao Games soared more than 100% from their issue price in the opening minutes of their debut in South Korea.

Shares in Australia also advanced, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.64%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.62% higher.

Investor reaction to the overnight jump on Wall Street was watched. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 439.58 points higher, or 1.6%, at 27,940.47.  The S&P 500 jumped 2% to 3,398.96 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 2.7% to 11,141.56.

Later on Thursday, the European Central Bank (ECB) is expected to announce its interest rate decision as well as monetary policy statement at around 7:45 p.m. HK/SIN.

“The ECB is expected to make no policy changes and reiterate it stands ready to adjust all of its instruments, as appropriate, at its policy meeting,” Joseph Capurso, head of international economics at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a morning note.

On the economic data front, the U.S. Labor Department’s weekly jobless claims report is also expected at about 8:30 p.m. HK/SIN. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect 850,000 new claims, down from last week’s 881,000.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 93.239 following an earlier slip from levels above 93.5.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.16 per dollar after weakening from levels below 105.9 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7263 following an earlier high of $0.7286.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures dipping 0.34% to $40.65 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also shed 0.6% to $37.82 per barrel.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • Europe: European Central Bank’s interest rate decision and monetary policy statement at 7:45 p.m. HK/SIN
  • U.S.: Labor Department’s weekly jobless claims report at 8:30 p.m. HK/SIN

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