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Asia-Pacific Markets Close Higher; South Korean KOSPI up 49.45% from March’s 52-Week Low

James Hyerczyk

The major Asia-Pacific markets closed higher on Friday while posting their biggest weekly rise in over eight years. Several key regional indexes have bounced back strongly following a historic period of volatility and uncertainty in March, as the world grappled with a rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic that left many economies on pause as lockdown measures were put in place.

Investors said a positive outlook for the global economy helped underpin the indexes, but the European Central Bank’s (ECB) surprise of more stimulus further encouraged investors to bet more aggressively on a global rebound. The ECB on Thursday announced an increase in its Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme by 600 billion Euros.

Gains in Asia were likely limited by light-profit-taking ahead of Friday’s nonfarm payrolls data, which is expected to show further deterioration in the U.S. jobs market. Ahead of the latest labor data, the Labor Department said 1.877 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, higher than a Dow Jones estimate of 1.775 million.

On Friday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 22863.73, up 167.99 or +0.74%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 24586.11, up 232.03 or +0.95% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 2181.87, up 30.69 or 1.43%.

China’s Shanghai Index settled at 2927.98, up 8.73 or +0.30% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 5998.70, up 6.90 or +0.12%.

Asia Pacific’s Major Markets Bounce Back Strongly Following Historic Period of Volatility and Uncertainty

Here’s a look at how other major stock indexes regionally have performed since touching their 52-week Low in March, as of their Thursday closing figures, compiled by CNBC with data from Refinitiv.

South Korea’s KOSPI:  +49.45%

Thailand’s SET Composite Index:  +45.6%

U.S. S&P 500 Index:  +42.0%

Japan’s Nikkei 225: +38.74%

Pan-European Stoxx 600 Index:  +36.37%.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200:  +36.1%

Taiwan’s Taiex:  +33.67%

India’s Nifty 50:  +33.52%

Singapore’s Straits Time Index:  +22.59%

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index:  +15.27%

China’s Shanghai Composite:  +10.29%

From the looks of these numbers, it looks as if President Trump’s “country club buddies” aren’t the only ones “raking it in”. China is the big surprise, up only +10.29%, but then again their investors may have been distracted too much by the Wuhan virus to worry about creating wealth.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

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