Asian markets were mostly up on Friday after the latest US coronavirus stimulus boosted Wall Street overnight.
In its latest attempt to ease the economic pain inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve has said it will inject $ 2.3 trillion into new lending programs.
The pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 94,000 people worldwide and has shaken economies, sending governments and central banks to scramble to put in place unprecedented massive emergency measures.
The solid closing of Wall Street boosted the benchmark for Tokyo Nikkei 225, which ended up 0.8%.
The market remains in a “bitter struggle between those who are pessimistic (about the pandemic) and those who are optimistic … they don’t want to miss a rare chance to buy” cheap stocks, said Mutsumi Kagawa , global chief strategist at Rakuten Securities.
Seoul also increased 1.3% and Taipei increased 0.4%. But Shanghai lost one percent.
Hong Kong, Sydney, Wellington and Singapore have been closed for a holiday.
The Fed appears to be “on a mission to make holes in every dam that stops the flow of credit,” said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at AxiCorp.
“And it looks like they have a lot more dynamite if necessary.” The European Union also followed the United States with its own € 500 billion ($ 550 billion) bailout package to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 in the 27-country bloc.
Millions of jobs were lost during the pandemic, with data released Thursday showing that 17 million people have lost their jobs in the United States alone since mid-March.
But investors seem to be focusing more on the impact of stimulus packages and whether they will be able to achieve the stability that governments hope for.
The latest emergency measures came as the International Monetary Fund warned that 170 of its 180 members would see a drop in per capita income this year.
“We anticipate the worst economic impact since the Great Depression,” said IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva, urging governments to provide lifelines to businesses and households, and warned that “it could get worse”.
Meanwhile, all major oil producers, except Mexico, have agreed to cut production and the months of May and June by 10 million barrels per day after the marathon negotiations to stabilize crude prices.
Oil has plummeted to almost two decades’ lows in recent weeks due to the impact of the pandemic on the global economy and a deadly price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
But while Riyadh and Moscow have agreed, OPEC said the agreement can only take effect with the consent of Mexico – which has not accepted its share of cuts.
Brent Crude fell 4.1% and West Texas Intermediate 9.3%.
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: + 0.8% to 19,498.50 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: down 1.0% to 2.797.80
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: closed on public holidays
Euro / dollar: up to $ 1.0944 compared to $ 1.0929 at 2100 GMT Thursday
Dollar / yen: down to 108.40 from 108.47
Pound / dollar: up to $ 1.2465 compared to $ 1.2464
Euro / pound: up to 87.79 pence compared to 87.64 pence
Brent Crude: down 4.1% to 31.48 a barrel
West Texas Intermediate: down 9.3% to 22.76 a barrel
New York – Dow: + 1.2% to 23,719.37 (close)
London – FTSE 100: + 2.9% to 5,842.66 (closing)