Asian shares ascend

    691

    TOKYO/BOSTON- Asian shares rose toward a more than two-year peak on Thursday, buoyed by sustained global stimulus efforts and hopes of a coronavirus vaccine, but some analysts warned of the risk of a correction lower.

    MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.44 percent, approaching the highest since January 2018. Chinese shares rose 0.37 percent. Stocks in Japan rose 0.62 percent to a 29-year high.

    Australian stocks bucked the regional trend and fell 0.31 percent as a decline in copper prices hurt shares in miners. S&P 500 stock futures fell 0.15 percent.

    Oil futures rose toward two-month highs due to optimism about a vaccine and a larger-than-expected drawdown in US crude inventories.

    The gains in Asia came after a mixed performance for US stocks as investors switched back to technology stocks and away from economically sensitive sectors as they weighed COVID-19 vaccine progress and the likely timing of an economic rebound.

    “The markets are waiting for more news about the virus, so it is difficult for investors to short equities,” said Daiju Aoki, regional chief investment officer for Japan at UBS Securities.