TOKYO- Global shares tried to extend gains on Thursday on renewed hopes for fresh US stimulus measures, but mounting uncertainty ahead of America’s presidential election and technical problems in Japan kept gains in check.
S&P500 futures rose 0.6 percent in Asia, extending Wall Street shares’ rebound overnight after strong employment data and talk of progress on long-delayed COVID-19 relief legislation.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.3 percent, with Australian shares rising 1.4 percent.
But regional trade was thinned by system glitches at the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) and holidays in Greater China and South Korea.
Technical problems at the TSE prompted the suspension of all share trading in Japan.
The TSE said trading would be halted all day and said it was not sure when it can recover its systems. Derivatives trading in Osaka was unaffected.
Nikkei futures rose 0.5 percent in tandem with gains in US futures.
On Wednesday, the S&P500 gained 0.83 percent and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.74 percent, even though they wrapped up September with their first monthly declines since March, when mandated coronavirus shutdowns slammed the economy.
A spate of economic data mostly surprised to the upside, with the ADP National Employment index blowing past analysts’ expectations and pending home sales surging to an all-time high.
“The US data is surprisingly strong, so that underpins the market. But I don’t expect a clearcut trend in markets until we see the outcome of the US election,” said Hirokazu Kabeya, chief global strategist at Daiwa Securities.