TOKYO — Asian shares rose Friday, buoyed by the rally on Wall Street that came after President Joe Biden announced a bipartisan deal on infrastructure spending.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225
jumped 0.8% in morning trading. South Korea’s Kospi
gained 0.7% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
edged up 0.5% as Sydney went into lockdown amid a worrying surge in COVID-19 cases. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng
added 1%, while the Shanghai Composite
rose 0.4%. Stocks slipped in Malaysia
but advanced in Singapore
“The breakthrough in infrastructure spending talks overnight has lifted sentiments, with spending plans historically being a positive for the markets,” said Yeap Jun Rong, market strategist at IG in Singapore. “Sectors leaning towards economic recovery and reopening may see strength.”
A recovery in the U.S. economy is a boon for this export-driven region. Although the vaccine rollout in Asia has lagged most parts of U.S. and Europe, the perk from an overseas recovery is likely to come long before herd immunity against the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 marked another record high, beating the peak it set early last week. Stocks added to their gains in the afternoon after Biden announced the infrastructure deal, which is sure to benefit companies in the construction industry.
The plan, costing $973 billion over five years, is the culmination of months of talks, and a larger spending plan from Biden is still possible later this year.
Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance, said the proposed agreement is favorable for industrials, financials and energy stocks, although “the general re-opening of the economy and renewed, post-Covid-19 economic growth is the most likely driver” of the market going forward.
The S&P 500 index
rose 24.65 points, or 0.6%, to 4,266.49. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 322.58 points, or 1%, to 34,196.82. The Nasdaq
added 97.98, or 0.7%, to 14,369.71.
Markets have calmed since the Federal Reserve surprised investors last week by saying it could start raising short-term interest rates by late 2023, earlier than expected, if recent high inflation persists.
The super-low rates the Fed engineered to carry the economy through the pandemic have propped up prices across markets, and any change would be a big deal, so the Fed’s announcement triggered selling of stocks and a rise in Treasury yields last week. However that selling reversed this week. The three major indexes are all up more than 2% this week and are once again near records.
In currency trading, the U.S. dollar
rose to 110.91 Japanese yen from 110.87 yen.
MarketWatch contributed to this report.