Stocks in Asia Trade Higher at a Cautious Pace, Following a Rebound in Wall Street

Stocks in Asia traded higher on Friday at a cautious pace, following a rebound in Wall Street last night as investors digested the U.S. economic data, reporting a GDP growth of 4% in the fourth quarter 2020.


As of 9:14 local time in Thailand, Nikkei rose 0.17%, SSEC increased 0.15%, HSI advanced 0.66%, ASX200 gained 0.54%, while Kospi dropped 0.41%.

Yesterday, SET Index closed at 1,468.51 points, decreased 29.62 points or 1.98% with a trading value of 92.6 billion baht.


Tisco Securities expected SET Index to rebound in the same direction as regional markets, following the positive session in Wall Street in hopes of a better recovery of the U.S. economy after last week’s jobless claims were reported lower. Meanwhile, the tightening valuation in the Thai stock market is loosening and trading at a forward PE of 16.3x. Still, the analyst stated that there could be further selloff from institutions and foreign investors, giving a support level at 1,450-1,455 points and a resistance level at 1,485-1,490 points.


U.S. stocks finished noticeably higher on Thursday, recouping some of the massive losses they suffered in the previous session.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 300.19 points, or 0.99 percent, to 30,603.36. The S&P 500 rose 36.61 points, or 0.98 percent, to 3,787.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 66.56 points, or 0.50 percent, to 13,337.16.

The above market moves followed a major setback on Wall Street Wednesday that saw the Dow shed more than 600 points.


The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020 amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, slower than 33.4 percent in the previous quarter, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on Thursday. The first figure was also below the 4.3-percent estimate from economists surveyed by Dow Jones.


Meanwhile, U.S. initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, fell to 847,000 in the week ending Jan. 23, following an upwardly revised level of 914,000 in the prior week, the Department of Labor said on Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had forecast initial jobless claims to total 875,000.


On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve underscored economic risks in a statement after concluding its first policy meeting in 2021. “The pace of the recovery in economic activity and employment has moderated in recent months, with weakness concentrated in the sectors most adversely affected by the pandemic,” the Fed said.


Source: Xinhua

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