Asian stock markets follow US index futures higher

Although Wall Street endured a torrid whip-saw session, all three major indices managed to crawl into the green by the end of the session. The S&P 500 finished 0.30% higher, the Nasdaq 0.37% higher, and the Dow Jones edged 0.19% higher.

Asia-Pacific stock markets have started the day much stronger though, thanks to our old friend, the after-market US stock index futures. The futures have rallied strongly today, perhaps on hopes of a US fiscal stimulus deal. The S&P 500 e-minis have risen 0.65%, with the Nasdaq futures climbing 0.80% and the under-pressure Dow Jones futures rising 0.45%.

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That has lifted the Nikkei 225 by 0.70%, and the Kospi by 0.95%, China’s Shanghai Composite, CSI 300 and Hang Seng have risen 0.30%. Kuala Lumpur has jumped 0.80%, despite its political travails, with Singapore higher by 0.60%. The ever-effervescent Australian exchanges needed no second guess, the ASX 200 jumping 1.40%, and the All Ordinaries leaping 1.60% higher.

Asia has been taking its cues from the US index futures throughout the week. It will, of course, only take one negative headline from the US for the dentists of Minnesota to rush for the exit door, dragging Asia down with them. The interconnected digital world is a strange place at times. With that in mind, although the session has started strongly, readers should take care not to get sucked into a “worst is over” false sense of security.



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