Dow hits a record close overnight with Standard Chartered profits ahead of it

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SINGAPORE – Asia Pacific stocks rose Thursday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to a record high overnight.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.61% as stocks in conglomerate Softbank Group rose more than 4%. The Topix index also gained 1.41%.

South Korea’s Kospi was up 2.06% as shares in chip maker SK Hynix rose more than 6%. The S & P / ASX 200 in Australia gained 0.94%.

Mainland China stocks were higher as the Shanghai composite gained about 0.6% while the Shenzhen component rose 0.486%. The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong rose 0.62%.

MSCI’s broadest index for stocks in the Asia-Pacific region outside of Japan rose 0.94%.

In terms of winnings, Standard Chartered is expected to report its 2020 winnings to HK / SIN around 12:15 pm on Thursday. On Tuesday, HSBC reported net income that exceeded expectations and announced a dividend payout for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Overnight in the US, the Dow jumped 424.51 points to a record high of 31,961.86. The S&P 500 was up 1.1% to end its trading day at 3,925.40 while the Nasdaq Composite was up 1% at 13,597.97.

The moves on Wall Street came when Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell further downplayed the inflation threat, saying it could be three years before the central bank’s target was consistently achieved.

Speaking to the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday, Powell said inflation could be volatile as the economy reopens and demand increases. Still, the Fed chairman doesn’t expect inflation to get hot and said the central bank has tools to fight it if it does.

Currencies and oil

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of its competitors, was at 90.113 – still weaker than last week at over 90.8.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.12 per dollar after weakening from below 105.6 yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7962, stronger than it was below $ 0.784 last week.

Oil prices were higher in Asia on the morning of trading hours. The international benchmark’s Brent crude oil futures rose 0.16% to $ 67.15 a barrel. US crude oil futures rose 0.17% to $ 63.33 a barrel.

– CNBC’s Yun Li contributed to this report.

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