SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific rose in Thursday trade as the Chinese markets continue to extend gains from a rebound, while the U.S. Federal Reserve announced its first rate hike in more than three years.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led gains among the region’s major markets, surging 6.25% in afternoon trade and erasing heavy losses from earlier in the week. The benchmark index saw its best day since October 2008 on Wednesday as it rocketed 9%.
China markets bounced on Wednesday after a Chinese state media report signaled support for Chinese stocks. U.S.-listed Chinese stocks soared on Wednesday as well following the report, which said regulators from both countries are working toward a cooperation plan on U.S.-listed Chinese stocks.
The Wednesday report also said authorities would work towards stability in the struggling real estate sector. China’s Ministry of Finance additionally announced on Wednesday that there were no plans to expand a test of property tax this year.
Chinese real estate stocks in Hong Kong soared on Thursday, with Country Garden up 21.48%, Sunac rocketing more than 52% and China Evergrande Group popping 22.48%. The Hang Seng Properties index climbed 7.85%.
Other Asia-Pacific markets also jumped on Thursday. The Nikkei 225 in Japan surged 3.5% while the Topix index climbed 2.56%.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 3.66% higher.
Fed rate hike
The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday approved a 0.25 percentage point rate hike, the first increase since Dec. 2018.
Officials at the U.S. central bank also signaled an aggressive path ahead, with rate rises coming at the six remaining meetings this year.
“Given our stagflationary baseline which got exacerbated by the Russia/Ukraine war, it appears that the Fed’s focus will weigh more on inflation fighting despite the uncertainty created by the situation in Ukraine based on yesterday’s meeting,” Salman Ahmed, global head of macro and strategic asset allocation at Fidelity International, wrote in a Thursday note.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 518.76 points, or 1.55%, to 34,063.10 while the S&P 500 advanced 2.24% to 4,357.86. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged 3.77% to 13,436.55.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 98.404 after a recent fall from around the 99 level.
The Japanese yen traded at 118.76 per dollar, weaker than levels below 118 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7316, holding on to gains after yesterday’s jump from below $0.72.
— CNBC’s Jeff Cox and Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.