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Asian Markets Extend Rally After Dow Closes Above 20,000

26Jan 2017

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Asian stock markets are extending gains on Thursday from the previous session amid improved risk appetite after the Dow Industrial Average climbed above 20,000 for the first time overnight.

Investor sentiment has been boosted by positive corporate earnings results and pro-growth policies under new U.S. President Donald Trump. The President has signed several executive orders designed to boost the U.S. economy.

The Japanese market is extending gains into a second day. In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is advancing 234.97 points or 1.23 percent to 19,292.47, off a high of 19,333.67 earlier.

The major exporters are higher. Sony, Toshiba and Panasonic are all advancing more than 1 percent each, while Canon is adding 0.5 percent.

Among the major automakers, Toyota is rising 1 percent and Honda is gaining 2 percent.

Shares of Sumitomo Chemical are rising more than 3 percent after the Nikkei business daily reported that the company will buy out its joint venture from U.S.-based partner Trinseo for tens of millions of dollars.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is rising almost 4 percent. Fast Retailing is adding almost 1 percent.

In the oil space, Inpex is down more than 1 percent, while JX Holdings is adding 0.3 percent following lower crude oil prices.

Among the other major gainers, Tokyo Electron is rising more than 5 percent, Nomura Holdings is gaining almost 5 percent and T&D Holdings is up 4 percent. On the flip side, JGC Corp. is losing 2 percent.

On the economic front, Japan will see December figures for corporate service prices today.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the lower 113 yen-range on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai, South Korea, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Malaysia are all in positive territory. The markets in Taiwan, Australia and India are closed on Thursday for the Lunar New Year, Australia Day and Republic Day holidays, respectively.

On Wall Street, stocks closed notably higher on Wednesday, continuing to benefit from optimism about U.S. economic growth under new President Donald Trump. The Dow climbed above 20,000 for the first time, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 also reached new record closing highs.

The Dow climbed 155.80 points or 0.8 percent to 20,068.51, the Nasdaq jumped 55.38 points or 1 percent to 5,656.34 and the S&P 500 advanced 18.30 points or 0.8 percent to 2,298.37.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on Wednesday. While the German DAX Index surged up by 1.8 percent, the French CAC 40 Index advanced by 1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index edged up by 0.2 percent.

Crude oil prices fell Wednesday as government data confirmed another build in U.S. oil inventories. WTI crude oil declined $0.45 to close at $52.75 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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