Indian Morning Briefing: Asian markets rise, followed by Wall Street gains

DJIA          35492.70    560.54     1.60% 
Nasdaq        15341.09    360.14     2.40% 
S&P 500        4649.23     81.21     1.78% 
FTSE 100       7297.41     99.38     1.38% 
Nikkei Stock  28521.54      3.95     0.01% 
Hang Seng     23149.17    177.84     0.77% 
Kospi          2981.14      6.11     0.21% 
SGX Nifty*    16872.00     44.0      0.26% 
*Dec contract 
USD/JPY    114.06-07    -0.02% 
Range      114.18   113.96 
EUR/USD    1.1278-81    -0.07% 
Range      1.1296   1.1274 
CBOT Wheat March   $7.990 per bushel 
Spot Gold   $1,789.00/oz   Unch. 
Nymex Crude (NY)   $71.45      $2.84 

U.S. stocks climbed, resuming the seesaw that has become the signature of the markets since the emergence of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.

The S&P 500 rose 1.8%, the Nasdaq Composite rose 2.4%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained around 1.6%. All three indices have fallen over the previous three trading sessions, pushed down by concerns over new Covid-19 lockdowns.

“The market is only rebounding from the profit taking of the last few days as the year has been very strong,” said Linda Duessel, senior equity strategist at Federated Hermes. “We are running out of time here, but there is still a chance for this gathering of Santa Claus, for which we applauded.”


Japanese stocks were slightly higher, driven by gains in electronics and tech stocks, as the yen weakened despite lingering concerns about the Omicron variant. USD / JPY was recently at 114.02, down from 113.72 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange close on Tuesday. The developments on the Omicron variant in Japan and elsewhere are the focus of attention. The Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.3% to 28,608.29.

South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.6% to 2,991.99, following overnight Wall Street gains which were spurred by better risk appetite. Most of the positive news from Omicron, such as South Africa which reportedly saw daily cases drop to two-week low, helped boost sentiment, the NAB said.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 1.1% to 23,221.13, reflecting a rally in US markets following appeasement of fears surrounding the Omicron variant, KGI Securities said. KGI set the HSI resistance level at 23,500 for today on low trading volumes during the holiday season. Tech stocks lead the gains.

Chinese stocks rose early in the session, extending Tuesday’s rebound with support from the energy, electronics and autos sectors. The market is rebounding somewhat but has not shaken a short-term downtrend, Soochow Securities said. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.1% to 3627.38, the Shenzhen Composite Index gained 0.4%, and the ChiNext Price Index rose 0.3%.


Asian currencies consolidated against USD amid mixed developments. Overnight gains on Wall Street boosted risk sentiment in Asia today; However, the relatively calm economic calendar could highlight the lingering risks of the Covid-19 Omicron variant for plans to reopen the region, IG said. USD / KRW fell 0.1% to 1,189.92 and USD / SGD lost 0.1% to 1.3635, while AUD / USD was little changed at 0.7152.


Gold traded steadily during the Asian morning session and may consolidate for the remainder of the shortened holiday week. Gold prices determine their year-end trading range somewhere around $ 1,800 / oz and that should stay intact as trading volumes decline, Oanda said. The main markets such as Wall Street and in particular those for precious metals, will be closed on Friday for the Christmas holidays. Spot gold has recently been little changed at $ 1,789.00 / oz.


Oil has risen in hopes that demand for vacation travel will hold steady. There appears to be optimism that vacation travel will remain intact for most of those vaccinated, Oanda said. The US and UK do not appear to be heading towards pandemic-related shutdowns, suggesting that the near-term outlook for oil may not be completely derailed by the Omicron variant, Oanda added. First-month WTI crude oil futures recently rose 0.4% to $ 71.41 / bbl; First month Brent crude oil futures rose 0.3% to $ 74.18 / bbl.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 21, 2021 10:15 p.m. ET (3:15 a.m. GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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