Asian markets gained ground Friday ahead of a key jobs report in the U.S. later today after central banks in Europe assured loose monetary policies would continue to remain in place.
Leading the gains, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 1.4%, Tokyo's Nikkei added 1.3%, Sydney's S&P/ASX All Ordinaries climbed 0.7% while mainland China's Shanghai Composite edged up 0.2%. Mumbai's Sensex also opened higher, following upbeat overseas cues, and was trading 1% higher at 9:18 a.m. Indian Standard Time.
President Mario Draghi of the ECB said yesterday that the central bank would keep key borrowing rates at current or lower levels for an "extended period". Draghi made this announcement while addressing a press conference on heels of the central bank's interest rate decision on Thursday. The ECB kept its monetary policy unchanged.
Separately, the Bank of England, which also concluded its monetary policy meeting yesterday, said that it would not hike interest rates over the short term.
European stocks rallied in the wake of these announcements. U.S. markets were closed on Thursday for the Independence Day holiday.
Stocks on the Move
Tokyo-listed exporters scored robust gains as the dollar grew stronger against major currencies, including the yen.
Panasonic Corp., Sharp Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. rose around 2% to 3% as the softer yen boosted their earnings' outlook.
Financials, retailers and resources stocks further lifted the Nikkei stock exchange. Top brokerage house Nomura Holdings rose over 2% while steel maker Kobe Steel bounced 6.1%. Retailer Fast Retailing rallied over 3%.
In Hong Kong, metal players Aluminum Corp. of China, Jiangxi Copper and Angang Steel improved around 1.5% to 2%.
Other prominent scorers included financials and property stocks.
Developer China Resources Land gained 2.5% while Sino Land Company added 1.4%.
On the mainland, Shanghai-listed Poly Real Estate Group vaulted over 6% and Gemdale Corp. enhanced 4.7%. China Vanke rose 4.1% in Shenzhen.
Among banks, global banking giant HSBC Holdings plc. was up 2.2% while ICBC added 2%. China Construction Bank and Agricultural Bank of China climbed 1.3% each.
In Sydney, mining companies and banks led the rally. National Australia Bank and tacked on a percent each while ANZ added 0.6%.
Among miners, BHP Billiton gained 1.1% and Rio Tinto improved 0.6%.
Troubled surfwear retailer Billabong International extended gains, bouncing more than 15% today in its fourth straight session of double digit gains as investors continued to cheer news that U.S. hedge funds Oaktree Capital Management and Centerbridge Partners have acquired $280 million worth of the company's debt.
Mumbai-listed stocks tracked the global rally with metal players and auto stocks racing ahead.
Jindal Steel, Sterlite Industries and Hindalco Industries gained 2% to 2.5% while Tata Motors, Hero MotoCorp and Maruti Suzuki added in the range of 0.5% to 1.5%.
Hindustan Unilever rallied close to 3% after its parent company Unilever fell short of its public offer to raise its holding in the company to 75%. Unilever acquired a little over two-thirds of HUL after the close of a voluntary tender offer yesterday.