TOKYO, Japan – Despite major markets taking a break for Christmas, most shares in Asia enjoyed a post-holiday boost. The Japanese stock market was a big winner as it rallied in anticipation of the US and China being finalized early next year.
After eight bouts of intra-day doldrums, shares in Japan finally went up on Thursday. The Nikkei 225 rose by 0.6% to 23,924. It has gained 19.5% this year. Meanwhile, the Topix also experienced an increase of 0.57%.
The Japan’s T+2 system means any trading done on Dec. 26 will be settled on Dec. 30, the last trading day of 2019.
The rise in shares were expected and not caused by any key factors. Hiroyasu Mori of Okachi Securities described it as a “natural rebound after a fall.” There’s a feeling that shares will become better after this week since trading for a new year will commence.
The rest of the Asian stock market also had a good run after Christmas. The Shanghai Composite Index went up 0.9% to 3,007. A late rally was attributed to the real estate sector after it was reported that residency limits for smaller cities will end. The move is expected to further encourage urbanization in China.
Many Chinese citizens working in cities have limited access to education and social protections. The country’s registration system restricts most benefits to long-time residents of cities. News that the system would be changed, along with reports that the government would be spending more on railways and various infrastructure have also boosted shares.
South Korea’s KOSPI rose by 0.4% to 2,197.93 while the Sensex of India went down 0.3% to 41,339.87. Indices in Southeast Asia were mixed.
Markets in Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand remain closed due to public holidays. The day’s relatively light trading volume is normal during this time and was repeated in most world markets.
Wall Street was a reflection of its Christmas Eve trading which saw the three major benchmarks barely moving The Dow Jones dropped by 36.08 points to meet Christmas at 28,515.45 while the S&P 500 remained steady at 3,223.38. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite inched up to hit a high of 8,952.99. It was the index’s ninth consecutive record breaking close since 1998.
Currency wise, the US dollar index pegged the greenback at 97.639. It peaked 97.7 earlier. The Japanese yen was at 109.52 against the USD while the Australian dollar is at $0.6927. It was trading between $0.691 and $0.692 earlier.
The GBP/USD pair was flat at $1.299 while the EUR/USD is up at $1.1091 from its previous $1.1087. The EUR/GBP is also up at 85.37 pence.