Asia-Pacific shares trade higher as Samsung reports third-quarter profit likely jumped

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were higher in Thursday morning trade following an overnight surge on Wall Street.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.29% in early trade while the Topix index advanced about 0.1%.

South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.64%. Shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics edged more than 0.5% higher after the firm announced Thursday its profit for the three months that ended in September likely rose 58% from a year ago.

Stocks in Australia also saw gains, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.63%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.19% higher.

Investors will continue watching for developments on U.S. stimulus support, after President Donald Trump tweeted support for aid to airlines and other stimulus measures. That was in contrast to Tuesday, when he said the White House is halting stimulus negotiations with the Democrats.

“Piecemeal US fiscal stimulus doesn’t supplant the need for a more comprehensive stimulus package,” Kim Mundy, a currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a note. “The absence of further fiscal support amid growing infections risks putting the US economic recovery in reverse.”

Meanwhile, on the virus treatment front, Eli Lilly said it’s seeking clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency authorization of its Covid-19 antibody treatment.

Overnight stateside, shares on Wall Street soared amid hopes that a smaller aid package could be passed by lawmakers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 530.70 points higher, or 1.9%, at 28,303.46 The S&P 500 jumped 1.7% to finish its trading day at 3,419.45 while the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.9% to close at 11,364.60.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.615 after seeing levels around 93.9 earlier.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.01 per dollar after weakening from levels below 105.6 against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7132 following its decline from levels above $0.716 this week.

Oil prices edged higher in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.29% to $42.11 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also added 0.15% to $40.01 per barrel.

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