Hong Kong: Asian markets mostly rose Thursday as investors breathed a sigh of relief that US senators have finally passed a gargantuan stimulus package for the world's top economy after being delayed by wrangling over details.
The unprecedented $2 trillion plan described by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as a "wartime level of investment" helped spur a surge across global equities as panicked traders worried about the impact of the coronavirus sweeping the planet.
But another advance on Wall Street was blunted Wednesday as it emerged that four Republican senators have baulked at the generous provisions agreed to in the bipartisan deal with the White House.
Asian markets mostly rose though major indexes struggled after posting hefty gains this week.
Tokyo ended down 4.5 percent after surging almost a fifth over the previous three days, while Hong Kong shed 0.7 percent and Shanghai eased 0.6 percent. Seoul fell more than one percent.
But Sydney jumped more than two percent, Wellington and Mumbai climbed four percent, while Manila rallied nearly eight percent. Jakarta soared more than 10 percent as dealers there played catch-up with the rest of Asia having been closed Wednesday for a holiday.
There were also healthy gains in Taipei and Bangkok.
Singapore lost more than one percent after data showed the city-state's economy suffered its worst quarterly contraction since the financial crisis more than a decade ago, giving global investors an early insight into the economic effects of the pandemic. The government on Thursday unveiled a US$33 billion stimulus package.
Singapore is considered a bellwether for trade-reliant Asian countries.
In early trade, London sank almost three percent, while Paris and Frankfurt lost more than two percent....