Equities higher in Asia as Nasdaq rally spills over

The NASDAQ outperformed, as investors piled into Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Zoom (NASDAQ:ZM) and their ilk on the premise that the sector is immune to US Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the country. It adds more weight to the theory that, for now, big-tech is the new safe-haven trade. The Nasdaq rose 2.51%, eclipsing the 0.84% gain by the S&P 500, and the unimpressive 0.03% finish for the Dow Jones Industrials.

After-market Nasdaq Futures are higher in Asia by 0.60%, as the big-tech haven trade continues. Combined in a potent cocktail with Covid-19 vaccine hopes, that has lifted stock markets across the region. The Nikkei 225 has climbed 0.65%, the KOSPI by 1.35%, Taiwan by 1.40%, with Australia’s ASX 200 and All Ordinaries climbing 1.30%. Regionally, Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok are between 0.50% and 0.80% higher.

China is providing a contrasting picture. A more positive international outlook and the impending Ant Financial IPO has lifted the Hang Seng by 1.60% today. In contrast, on the mainland, both the Shanghai Composite and CSI 300 are unchanged. Their performance is likely reflective of consolidation after their respective 3.0% rallies yesterday, however.

Hong Kong markets will be boosted by the news that Ant Financial will do a dual-listing IPO in both Hong Kong and Shanghai. It could easily be the largest IPO of the year in terms of cash raised, edging out Saudi Aramco (SE:2222). That has swept the security law clouds from the front pages, for now, boosting hopes that Hong Kong can go it alone with Big Brother’s help, even if there is an exodus of foreign and local companies to more friendly climes.

The mood in Asian equity markets should remain buoyant for the rest of the day, and rightly so. Against that backdrop, and with the Eurozone on the cusp of a pandemic recovery deal, European stock markets should begin their session with a strong tailwind.

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