Asian Stocks Gain as Japan Rallies in First Trading Day of 2017

Updated on
  • Topix surges most in almost two months as yen declines
  • Gauges in Philippine, Singapore lead wider Asia gains

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Asian equities rose after a strong set of economic data boosted optimism in the U.S. economy and as the Japanese market soared in its first trading day of 2017.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 1.3 percent at 4:30 p.m. in Hong Kong with a group of consumer discretionary companies surging the most in four weeks. Japan’s Topix index surged to close at a one year high, leading gains among Asian gauges as the yen slipped against the greenback for a fourth day. The Philippine’s stock gauge rallied to a three-week high. The S&P 500 Index posted its biggest increase in four weeks, fueled by optimism as U.S. manufacturers posted the strongest expansion in two years in December.

“Whether this rally has the legs to continue to go the distance, or just a ‘ceremonial’ kick-off to this start of the year, will depend on the next series of catalysts that may be presented,” Nicholas Teo, trading strategist at KGI Securities Pte Ltd., said in a note.

Asian stocks have started the year strong, as optimism over the global economy has been boosted by a string of robust economic data from the U.S., China and Europe that has sent all industry groups higher. European stocks are also trading higher Wednesday, adding to their new year rally.


  • Japan’s Topix index +2.4%; yen -0.4% at 118.16 per dollar after slipping 0.6% during the first two days of the week
    • Topix has gained 29 percent since the Brexit vote in June as global investors regained risk appetite
  • New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index rises 1.4 percent, with Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index and South Korea’s Kospi index both +0.1%
  • Shanghai Composite +0.7% to three-week high; Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index -0.1% and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index -0.2%
    • China has studied possible scenarios for the yuan and capital outflows this year and is preparing contingency plans
  • West Texas Intermediate crude +0.5% before U.S. government data forecast to show crude stockpiles declined as OPEC and other producers started trimming output
  • S&P 500 Index futures +0.1% in most recent trading
    • Gauge surged 0.9% Tuesday, boosted by optimism over fiscal stimulus and stronger economic growth
  • Singapore’s Straits Times Index +1%, Malaysia’s FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index +0.5%, India’s Sensex Index +0.1%
  • Thailand’s SET Index +1.2%, while nation’s inflation rose more than expected in December

For more Asia stock markets news:
Japan Shares Start 2017 With Biggest Rally in Two Months
Swim or Sink Outlook Prompts Asia Shipping Lines to Face Mergers
China Said to Consider Options to Back Yuan, Curb Outflows

— With assistance by Abhishek Vishnoi

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