SINGAPORE – Asia-Pacific shares rose on Thursday, following a rally on Wall Street and investors reeling from US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to Taiwan.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 2 percent, and the Hang Seng Tech Index rose 3.16 percent.
Alibaba shares popped around 5% ahead of Thursday’s earnings results.
The Chinese e-commerce giant could see its revenue decline for the first time on record, according to the average forecast of analysts at Refinitiv. But that could be a floor for Alibaba as earnings are expected to improve going forward.
Meituan shares rose 3.67 percent, while JD.com gained 5.4 percent.
Pelosi met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday after a warning from Beijing. Pelosi left the island, which China views as a refugee state, to continue her tour of Asia.
Mainland China markets fell for two straight sessions, but rallied on Thursday. The Shanghai composite rose 0.62%, while the Shenzhen component rose 0.63%.
“Historically, markets tend to move quickly from events like this, and today you can see that the markets have started off very strong,” Wei-Sern Ling, managing director of UBP, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Thursday.
Despite geopolitical risks, cancellation concerns in the U.S. and a possible outbreak of Covid, there are many indicators in the Chinese market, Ling said. He pointed to well-controlled inflation and consumption recovery as examples.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.54%, while the Topix index was flat.
South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.44% and Kosdaq rose 1.11%.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 added 0.18%.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside China was 0.73 percent higher.
Singapore’s biggest bank DBS reported a net profit of 1.82 billion Singapore dollars ($1.32 billion), the second highest ever, the bank said in a press release. This is higher than the average forecast of S$1.7 billion, according to Refinitiv data.
Bank shares fell 1.05%, while the broader index was flat.
Reuters quoted a source as saying that the world’s largest battery maker, CATL, will continue to work on supplying low-cost lithium metal batteries to Ford Motor Co. CATL will start producing batteries in North America by 2026, according to Wednesday’s report.
Bloomberg News reported Tuesday that CATL was delaying a decision on the North American plant.
Shares of CATL were down 0.66 percent on Thursday.
Overnight in the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 each gained more than 1%, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 2.59% in tech stocks.
A better-than-expected PMI reading for July gave investors confidence amid fears of a U.S. recession.
Currencies and oil
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of peers, was higher at 106.376 earlier this week.
The Japanese yen was trading at $133.75, weaker than levels seen earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.6949.
Oil prices rose on Thursday, with Brent down 3.7 percent and U.S. crude down 4 percent after U.S. data showed an unexpected rise in crude and gasoline inventories.
US crude rose 0.43 percent to $91.05 a barrel, while Brent crude rose 0.38 percent to $97.15 a barrel.