It was an interesting day, for the stocks in Asia-Pacific. Interestingly, stocks were mostly higher on Thursday, as investors reacted to the latest announcements from the U.S. Federal Reserve. Let’s start with mainland Chinese stocks.
Importantly, mainland Chinese stocks strengthened their positions on December 17. The Shanghai Composite advanced 1.13% to 3,404.87. In the meantime, the Shenzhen Component gained 1.009% to end its trading day at 13,889.87.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 0.4% as of its final hour of trading.
Moreover, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.18% to close at 26,806.67. In the meantime, the Topix index ended its trading day 0.32% higher at 1,792.58.
However, South Korea’s Kospi index slightly fell to 2,770.43.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.16% on the day to 6,756.70.
According to seasonally adjusted estimates released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the country’s unemployment rate in November stood at 6.8% As a reminder, the unemployment rate in October was higher by 0.2%.
Federal Reserve and stocks
On December 16, the Federal Reserve made an important adjustment to its efforts to support the economy, while upgrading its outlook for growth. Unsurprisingly, the Federal Reserve decided to keep interest rates near zero following the conclusion of its two-day meeting.
Based on the information provided by the Federal Reserve, it would continue to buy at least $120 billion of bonds each month. The Fed has no intention to change its strategy “until substantial further progress has made toward the Committee’s maximum employment and price stability goods”.
On Wednesday, the S&P 500 added 0.2% to 3,701.17. Moreover, the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.5% to end its trading day at 12,658.19, seeing intraday and closing all-time highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 44.77 points to finish its trading day at 30,154.54.
The coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy continue to dominate the headlines. Investors continue to monitor the situation to learn more about risk factors. Unfortunately, the pandemic is not over yet, and it means that for at least several months this issue will remain one of the most important challenges.
As a reminder, public as well as private organizations are working hard to improve the situation. Nevertheless, it won’t be easy to repair the damage caused by the pandemic in a short period of time. Moreover, in the case of the airline industry, it would take several years to return to pre-coronavirus levels.