Most of Asia Jumps, Korea Rockets

Stocks in Asia-Pacific largely jumped on Thursday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to a record closing high overnight.

The Nikkei 225 resurfaced 496.57 points, or 1.7%, to 30,168.27, as shares of conglomerate SoftBank Group surged 3.8%.

Moreover, Japanese automaker Suzuki Motor’s stock dropped 3.3%. The firm announced Wednesday that Chairman Osamu Suzuki will leave his post in June and become a senior advisor.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.06 per dollar, having weakened from levels below 105.6 yesterday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng rebuilt 355.93 points, or 1.2%, to 30,074.17.

On the earnings front, Standard Chartered Bank reported 2020 pretax profit of $1.61 billion, plunging 57% from a year ago. That figure is lower than the $1.85 billion average of analyst forecasts compiled by the bank.

Still, Standard Chartered Bank Group CEO Bill Winters said the “outlook is bright.”

Hong Kong-listed shares of Standard Chartered fell 1.9% on Thursday.

On Tuesday, rival HSBC reported full-year earnings that beat expectations and announced a dividend payout for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shares of South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix soared 9.2% on Thursday.

The moves came after Nvidia reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that topped elevated analyst expectations against the backdrop of a global semiconductor shortage, which has hit sectors ranging from gaming to autos.

Overnight stateside, the Dow jumped 424.51 points to a record closing high of 31,961.86.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7989, stronger then levels below $0.784 seen last week.

In other markets

In China, the CSI 300 regained 31.99 points, or 0.6%, to 5,469.56.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index popped 239.65 points, or 1.5%, to 16,452.18.

In Singapore, the Straits Times index gained 48.96 points, or 1.7%, to 2,973.54.

In Korea, the Kospi recovered 104.71 points, or 3.5%, to 3,099.69

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 slouched 141.76 points, or 1.2%, to 12,140.66.

In Australia, the ASX 200 restored 56.21 points, or 0.8%, to 6,834.03