Asian Shares Rally After Biden Inauguration

Asian stocks rose broadly on Thursday after Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th U.S. President, helping lift hopes for more fiscal stimulus to fight the coronavirus-led economic slump and spur growth in the world’s largest economy.

Chinese stocks rose amid news that China Mobile, China Unicom Hong Kong and China Telecom Corp. have filed a request with the New York Stock Exchange seeking to review their delistings.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index jumped 38.17 points, or 1.1 percent, to 3,621.26, although Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged down 34.71 points, or 0.1 percent, to 29,927.76.

Japanese shares advanced as the Bank of Japan left its monetary policy unchanged, raised growth projections and noted that risks to both economic activity and prices were skewed to the downside.

Investors cheered government data showing that Japanese exports rose for the first time in two years in December, driven by shipments to China.

The Nikkei 225 Index gained 233.60 points, or 0.8 percent, to finish at 28,756.86, a 30-year high. The broader Topix closed 0.6 percent higher at 1,860.64.

Dentsu Group soared 5.3 percent after a report the advertising giant is looking to sell its Tokyo headquarters in a deal possibly worth 300 billion yen ($2.9 billion).

Panasonic rallied 5 percent after saying it is working on special storage boxes for the coronavirus vaccine. SoftBank Group advanced 2.9 percent after Alibaba Group co-founder and executive chairman Jack Ma’s reappearance.

Australian markets rose for a third day after data showed the nation’s unemployment rate fell in December.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that Australia’s jobless rate dropped to a seasonally adjusted 6.6 percent in December – below expectations for 6.7 percent and down from 6.8 percent in November.

The Australian economy added 50,000 jobs last month, in line with expectations following the addition of 90,000 jobs in the previous month.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 53.30 points, or 0.8 percent, to 6,823.70, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 56.10 points, or 0.8 percent, at 7,107.10.

Tech stocks outperformed, with buy-now-pay-later company Afterpay surging 5.7 percent. Gold miners Northern Star Resources and Regis gained around 2 percent as prices of the precious metal hit a two-week high on dollar weakness.

Meanwhile, oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum fell 1.6 percent after it forecast lower production in 2021.

Seoul stocks rose for the third straight session to hit record highs after data showed the country’s exports expanded at a much faster pace in the first 20 days of January on the back of robust shipments of chips and autos. The benchmark Kospi jumped 46.29 points, or 1.5 percent, to 3,160.84.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose over 1 percent, Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest automaker, gained 2.1 percent, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors surged 4 percent.

New Zealand shares ended notably higher, with the benchmark NZX-50 index rising 85.74 points, or 0.7 percent, to 13,112.19, led by utility and healthcare stocks.

U.S. stocks rallied overnight to hit new record closing highs as Netflix reported strong fourth quarter subscriber growth and Joe Biden called for additional stimulus and an accelerated coronavirus vaccine rollout.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8 percent, the S&P 500 climbed 1.4 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 2 percent.

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