Asian equity markets posted an upbeat performance on the final trading day of the week, tracking a global rally after the European Central Bank (ECB) unleashed a 1 trillion($1.11 trillion) stimulus package to resuscitate the deflation-hit euro zone.
The European Central Bank (ECB) has set the ticker boards alight across the globe with investors responding favourably to another central bank deploying more stimulus. As European equities rallied heading into the ECB meeting and the euro fell, there was a real risk that the outcome would disappoint and spark a reversal in price action. Having disappointed on a number of occasions in the past, it was important for Mario Draghi to get it right this time and keep the momentum going.
Overnight, U.S. stocks extended gains into a fourth session, on the back of the ECB’s larger-than-expected easing measures and upbeat quarterly earnings from companies including. Both the and gained 1.5 percent, while the tech-heavy piled on 1.8 percent.
In Europe, the pan-Europeanclosed 1.6 percent higher – its highest closing level since early 2008 – on Thursday, according to Reuters.
Markets also digested news thatearly Friday, making his brother Salman king of the oil-rich nation. jumped nearly 2 percent to $47.15 a barrel in early Asian trade after the news broke, while gained 1.9 percent to hit $49.43 a barrel.
Mainland indices up
China’s benchmarkindex rose 1.4 percent to a one-week high by midday, supported by a better-than-anticipated HSBC flash China’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI). The , after registering a 49.6 final reading in December, its first contraction in seven months. Despite the reading remaining in contraction territory, euphoria from the ECB helped to underpin buoyant sentiment.
Insurance stocksand were among the top gainers for the third consecutive session; shares of both companies bounced up 10 and 4.5 percent, respectively. recouped Thursday’s losses with a nearly 4 percent rise.
elevated 3.3 percent after it announced a positive earnings alert for 2014.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’sindex held steady at a more than 4-month high after jumping 1.3 percent. Shares of is in focus after being halted from trading in Hong Kong on news that the .
Nikkei rises 1%
Japan’s benchmarkheld on to a near three-week high, despite the strengthening slightly to touch 118.3 in the afternoon session.
Exporters stocks pulled back modestly as a result of a stronger currency;climbed 1.2 percent, while and added nearly 2 percent each. Oil-related counters turned negative despite the spike in crude oil prices, with and erasing early gains to slip 0.2 percent each.
Index heavyweights provided some support for the bourse, asand tacked on nearly 4 and 1 percent, respectively.
ASX climbs 1.3%
Australia’sindex rocketed to a more than two-month high ahead of a long weekend, while the hovered near a multi-year low of $0.8021 to the dollar, after briefly rising to hit $0.8049 following an above-view preliminary gauge of Chinese manufacturing activities. Markets in down under will be closed on Monday for the Australia Day holiday.
The energy sector is in focus on the back of sharp moves in the price of crude oil;and shot up nearly 3 percent each, while bolstered 4.6 percent after it reported a 2 percent rise in fourth quarter revenue.
Miners were also firmer despite overnight weakness in iron ore prices.led the sector with a 1.3 percent gain, while and added 0.2 and 0.4 percent each.
EM Asia up
India’s Nifty index powered 1.1 percent to record highs at the open, as investors lapped up the launch of stimulus in the euro zone.
Thailand shares are in focus on Friday, as the country’s National Legislative Assembly votes in an impeachment hearing against former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, following a controversial rice-pledging program. The benchmarkindex was up 1 percent to a more than 6-week high, while the traded little moved at 32.61 to the dollar.
Kospi up 0.7%
South Korean shares hit a near a four-week high, as ECB’s bazooka offset data which showed the nationin the three months to December. South Korea expanded 2.7 percent on year in the fourth quarter, just below expectations for a 2.8 percent increase in a Reuters poll.
Index heavyweights contributed to the robust showing;, the heaviest weighted stock on the , added 0.4 percent, while reversed a negative open to bump up nearly 2 percent. Energy plays were among the top gainers for the day, with rising 1.6 percent and rallying 1.1 percent.
bucked the rising trend to notch down over 1 percent, as cautious sentiment took over ahead of the carmaker’s fourth quarter earnings guidance due to be released later in the day.