ASIAN shares were mostly higher on Thursday, Oct. 8, on optimism US stimulus may be coming after all, as US President Donald Trump appeared to reverse his earlier decision to halt talks on another economic rescue effort.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.9 percent to 23,636.35. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.2 percent to 2,391.63. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.4 percent to 6,119.20. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.8 percent to 24,048.48. Trading was closed in Shanghai for a holiday.
Riki Ogawa of Mizuho Bank in Singapore noted that considerable uncertainty remains, given the “rollercoaster” swings in investor mood in response to signs from Trump about the stimulus.
“The on-and-off nature of the fiscal stimulus discussion in the US hardly inspires lasting confidence,” Ogawa said, noting such uncertainty will continue through the presidential election campaign, and perhaps even after the vote.
The S&P 500 climbed 1.7 percent to 3,419.45 after Trump sent a series of tweets late Tuesday saying he’s open to sending out US$1,200 payments to Americans, and to limited programs to prop up the airline industry and small businesses.
The tweets came just hours after Trump sent the market into a tailspin with his declaration that his representatives should halt talks with the Democrats on a broad stimulus effort for the economy until after the election, saying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been negotiating in bad faith.
The stakes are high, as economists, investors and the chair of the Federal Reserve all say the economy needs another dose of support following the expiration of weekly jobless benefits and other stimulus Congress approved earlier this year. (AP)