Asian stocks rebounded on Tuesday after falling heavily in the previous session on concerns about the spread of the Omicron variant around the world and its impact on the global economic recovery.
China’s Shanghai Composite index rose 31.52 points, or 0.88 percent, to 3,625.12 as investors cheered efforts by policymakers to shore up a troubled property sector.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed 226.47 points, or 1.00 percent, to 22,971.33 after two days of hefty losses.
Japanese shares rallied, led by strong gains in tech heavyweights. The Nikkei average jumped 579.78 points, or 2.08 percent, to settle at 28,517.59 after falling nearly 4 percent in the previous two session. The broader Topix index ended 1.47 percent higher at 1,969.79.
Tokyo Electron surged 4.4 percent and Advantest jumped 4.6 percent after Micron Technology Inc., the largest U.S. maker of memory chips, beat market expectations by delivering stronger quarterly results. Technology investor SoftBank Group rose 1.1 percent after recent string of losses.
Pharmaceutical firm Shionogi & Co soared 5.3 percent after saying it has confirmed the efficacy against the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus of its oral Covid-19 drug currently in development.
Australian markets climbed as minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) Dec. 7 policy meeting showed the board is committed to maintaining highly supportive monetary conditions.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 62.80 points, or 0.86 percent, to 7,355 while the broader All Ordinaries index closed up 64.50 points, or 0.85 percent, at 7,666.70.
CSL surged 4.9 percent after the biotech firm opened its share purchase plan to raise another $US750m for its Vifor Pharma acquisition. Energy shares ended broadly higher as oil prices rebounded after an overnight plunge.
Ardent Leisure tumbled 3.2 percent. The owner of Dreamworld has dumped its $75m plans for a new hotel, tourist park.
Seoul stocks eked out modest gains amid bargain hunting after recent plunge. The Kospi average inched up 12.03 points, or 0.41 percent, to 2,975.03 after having fallen nearly 2 percent in the previous session.
Chip-related stocks performed well, with Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix rising 1.3 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively.
In economic releases, central bank data showed that South Korea’s producer prices increased for the 13th straight month in November on the back of a rise in oil and energy prices.
New Zealand shares ended notably higher as a weaker kiwi dollar on concerns about the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 helped lift exporters.
The benchmark NZX 50 index rose 90.42 points, or 0.71 percent, to 12,856.87 as the government postponed its phased border-reopening plans.
High-tech components maker Rakon climbed as much as 7.2 percent and top stock Fisher & Paykel Healthcare added 2.5 percent.
U.S. stocks fell overnight on concerns that the new coronavirus strain could derail the global economic recovery. Concerns about the deadlock over U.S. President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion investment bill also dented sentiment.
The Dow and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite both dropped around 1.2 percent while the S&P 500 shed 1.1 percent.