Asian Shares Follow Wall Street Higher

Asian stocks ended mostly higher on Tuesday after strong retail sales data helped Wall Street’s S&P 500 index end at a record high in its fourth straight day of gains overnight. Traders also evaluated the resilience of the global recovery to a record spike in coronavirus cases.

Chinese shares eked out modest gains as authorities unveiled sweeping regulations governing overseas share sales by the country’s firms and the People’s Bank of China injected 200 billion yuan ($31.39 billion) through seven-day reverse repos into the banking system.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index edged up 14.14 points, or 0.39 percent, to 3,630.11 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index ended up 0.24 percent at 23,280.56.

China Evergrande Group shares jumped more than 8 percent after the embattled property developer said it had made initial progress in resuming construction work.

Japanese shares hit a one-month high, led by gains in technology stocks. Sentiment was also bolstered by data showing a Japan’s factory output in November.

The Nikkei index rallied as much as 392.70 points, or 1.37 percent, to 29,069.16, marking its highest since Nov. 25. The broader Topix index closed 1.37 percent higher at 2,005.02.

Tokyo Electron, Sony Group, Fanuc and Daikin Industries jumped 2-3 percent. Medical equipment and camera maker Olympus soared as much as 4.3 percent.

Kewpie added 2.6 percent after the mayonnaise maker raised its forecast for annual profit and dividend.

Seoul stocks advanced as investors bought shares before the ex-dividend date. The Kospi average gained 20.74 points, or 0.69 percent, to finish at 3,020.24. LG Chem, SK Hynix and Naver all rose about 1 percent.

Investors shrugged off data from the Bank of Korea showing that consumer confidence in the country weakened for the first time in four months in December.

U.S. stocks rose in thin post-Christmas trading overnight as investors hailed strong holiday season sales and grew confident a global recovery would regain steam next year despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The S&P 500 climbed 1.4 percent to reach a new record closing high ahead of year-end window dressing and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rallied 1.4 percent while the Dow added 1 percent.

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