SINGAPORE/NEW YORK- Asia’s stock markets snapped their longest losing streak since February on Thursday and rose following a bounce on Wall Street, though subdued trade in currency, commodity and bond markets suggested investors remain cautious about the outlook.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained half a percent, lifting away from a one-month low made on Wednesday.
Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.5 percent and markets in Shanghai and Hong Kong opened higher. But pressure returned to the oil price on worries about soft demand, a harbinger of weaker global growth.
An overnight rally in riskier currencies also paused, as foreign exchange traders look for the European Central Bank’s tone at its meeting later on Thursday to guide the next move for the euro, dollar and the broader market.
S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures each fell 0.4 percent in Asia.
Indonesia’s main stock index dropped 4 percent to its lowest in more than a month on news the country’s capital Jakarta will reinstate social distancing restrictions due to a rise in coronavirus infections.
“The price action suggests that strong buying interest remains on market corrections given the backdrop of ample central bank liquidity,” economists Liz Kendall and Brian Martin at ANZ Bank said in a note.
“However, with some volatility having returned to markets it’s too soon to say whether the rout is over, or whether last night’s recovery is simply a pause,” the added.
Overnight on Wall Street the tech-heavy Nasdaq posted its steepest rise in more than four months, gaining 2.7 percent, to halt a three-session selldown that whacked tech stocks.