BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher on Friday on hopes Washington will provide more aid to the struggling U.S. economy.
Benchmarks in Shanghai, Hong Kong, South Korea and Sydney advanced. Tokyo was off 0.1%.
Wall Street gained Thursday after President Donald Trump suggested he might be reversing his decision to halt talks on economic aid. Separately, a report indicated the near-record pace of U.S. job losses might be slowing.
Stock prices have been volatile since mid-September as investors swing between optimism about possible development of a coronavirus vaccine and unease that markets recovered too fast and shares are too expensive.
“The on-and-off nature of the fiscal stimulus discussion in the U.S. hardly inspires lasting confidence,” said Mizuho Bank in a report. “Uncertainty around the presidential election on 3 November will likely persist not only through to polling day but possibly after.”
The Shanghai Composite Index, resuming trading after a weeklong holiday, rose 1.9% to 3,278.83. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo shed 0.3% to 23,574.39 while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained less than 0.1% to 24,216.26.
Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.3% to 6,122.00 and India’s Sensex opened 0.3% higher at 40,312.42. New Zealand advanced while Singapore, Bangkok and Jakarta declined.
Trump said in a TV interview that “very productive” talks had begun on more stimulus after supplemental unemployment benefits that supported consumer spending, the engine of the U.S. economy, expired.
That helped to fuel optimism that Republicans and Democrats will deliver another aid package after weeks of uncertainty.
Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index rose 0.8% to 3,446.83. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4% to 28,425.51. The Nasdaq composite picked up 0.5% to 11,420.98.
Banks, technology and communication companies accounted for much of the gains.
Energy stocks rose as the price of U.S. crude