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Asian Stocks Rally on Back of Rising Oil Prices

By Gina Lee – Asian stock were up on Thursday morning, rallying from their losses earlier in the week.

Stocks’ recovery was buoyed by gains in oil futures during its previous session as U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to destroy Iranian gun boats that harassed American ships at sea.

The U.S. House is also set to pass a COVID-19 pandemic relief package later in the day. The $484 billion package was approved by the Senate on Tuesday. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also said overnight that he anticipates most of the economy will restart by the end of August.

South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.37% by 10:27 PM ET (3:27 AM GMT). The country suffered its worst contraction since 2008’s global financial crisis in the first quarter as COVID-19 bit into consumer spending and business activity.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.62% and Down Under, the ASX 200 rose 0.31%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gave up its earlier gains and was down by 0.24%. China’s Shanghai Composite was up by 0.03% while the Shenzhen Component was up 0.15% even as insurance giants China Life and Ping An Insurance are expected to report big drops in new business during the first quarter later in the day. 

Investors remained cautiously optimistic as countries continue to bunker down to prevent the spread of the virus.

“For sure with this volatility we’ve seen year-to-date we are seeing value now appearing in Asian markets,” Wey Fook Hou, chief investment officer at DBS Group, told Bloomberg. “For this recovery to be sustainable we really need to see the cases come down and economies gradually reopening.” 

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