Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumps 2% as investors assess omicron risks; semiconductor stocks in Asia rise
SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific rose in Tuesday trade as investors continued to monitor the situation surrounding the omicron Covid variant.
Shares in Australia also rose as the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.78%.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.73% higher.
Investors continued to track the situation around the omicron variant, which has cast a shadow over the festive holiday period as curbs have already been introduced in countries across Europe.
Global stocks tumbled on Monday as concerns surrounding the fast-spreading omicron strain weighed on investor sentiment.
Chip stocks rise
Semiconductor stocks in Asia-Pacific rose in Tuesday trade after Micron delivered stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings. Shares of the U.S.-listed firm soared nearly 7% in after hours trading on Monday.
Elsewhere in South Korea, shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics gained 1.17% while SK Hynix surged 2.9%. Hong Kong-listed shares of SMIC also rose more than 1%.
Overnight stateside, the major averages dropped more than 1% each amid the uncertainty around omicron. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 433.28 points, or 1.23%, to 34,932.16 while the S&P 500 shed 1.14% to 4,568.02. The Nasdaq Composite declined 1.24% to 14,980.94.
Currencies and oil
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.474 — off levels above 96.6 seen recently.
The Japanese yen traded at 113.65 per dollar, stronger than levels above 114 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7111, still struggling to recover after last week’s decline from above $0.72.