Asian equities rose after technology stocks on Wall Street rebounded from a three-day rout.
Japan’s benchmark Topix was up 1 per cent in early trading on Thursday while South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.7 per cent. China’s CSI 300 index of Shanghai- and Shenzhen-listed stocks rose 1 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.4 per cent.
Shares in SoftBank edged up 0.2 per cent in Tokyo, putting the technology group in a position to end a three-day sell-off that wiped about $13.7bn off its market capitalisation. That rout was prompted by the revelation that SoftBank had taken on notional exposure of about $30bn to US technology stocks using call options, in a high-risk strategy that unnerved its investors and the wider market.
In South Korea, shares in Kakao Games jumped 160 per cent on their trading debut. The initial public offering of messaging app Kakao’s gaming unit attracted orders of about 1,500 times the stock available, smashing local records.
On Wednesday, Wall Street’s tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 2.7 per cent to halt a three-session drop that had put the index in correction territory. The broader S&P 500 finished 2 per cent higher.
Tesla, the US electric vehicle group, rose 11 per cent after plunging 21 per cent on Tuesday in its worst-ever trading day. Technology providers Apple and Microsoft both recovered about 4 per cent.
Futures tipped the S&P 500 to slip 0.1 per cent when trading begins on Wall Street later on Thursday, while London’s FTSE 100 was set to shed 0.4 per cent.
“If you’d taken a short staycation this week, and came back to work next Monday, you might be forgiven for thinking that nothing much had happened in the intervening period,” said Robert Carnell head of Asia-Pacific research at ING, of gyrations in markets this week. “By close [of] tomorrow we may only be down slightly on the week.”
Oil prices pulled back after rallying alongside equities on Wednesday, with Brent crude, the international benchmark, down 0.4 per cent to $40.62 a barrel. US marker West Texas Intermediate fell 0.6 per cent to $37.82 a barrel.