Berliner Tageblatt - Asian markets climb, Tokyo hits record after US tech gains

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Asian markets climb, Tokyo hits record after US tech gains
Asian markets climb, Tokyo hits record after US tech gains / Photo: © AFP

Asian markets climb, Tokyo hits record after US tech gains

Asian markets were mostly up on Thursday, with Tokyo's benchmark index posting a record high, after greater-than-expected earnings from tech giant Nvidia.

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Highly anticipated earnings results from US chip titan Nvidia beat expectations late Wednesday, with the firm reporting a quarterly profit of $12.3 billion on record-high revenue driven by demand for its AI-powering chips.

Following a mixed day on Wall Street, the company announced record revenue of $22.1 billion in the quarter that ended late January and $60.9 billion for the fiscal year.

Analysts had predicted its bumper profits could drive up Asian markets, and Japan's blue-chip Nikkei 225 more than delivered. It climbed as much as two percent, or more than 39,000, during afternoon trading on tech share rallies, breaking a record set in 1989.

"As goes Nvidia, so goes the market," Kim Forrest, chief investment officer of Bokeh Capital Partners, told Bloomberg earlier Thursday.

Its earnings report "does confirm the narrative that AI is going to continue to be strong for the foreseeable future. This narrative supported the markets last year, why wouldn't it do the same this year?" Forrest added.

Stephen Innes, of SPI Asset Management, said Asian equities were "poised for a potential rise", supported by Nvidia's gains in after-hours US trading, which saw its shares rise more than eight percent.

The firm's first-quarter outlook exceeded analysts' forecasts, he noted.

Hong Kong and Shanghai stocks were trading higher, as were Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok, Manila and Wellington. Sydney was flat.

London was dragged lower Wednesday by HSBC, after the banking giant's share price plunged more than eight percent on the revelation of a $3-billion impairment on Chinese activities.

Investors were looking to the European Central Bank's minutes of its most recent meeting on eurozone monetary policy, to be released later Thursday, for clues on when it could start cutting rates.

In the United States, January's Federal Reserve policy meeting minutes showed that officials had mixed views over the timing of cutting interest rates -- but most members were more concerned about moving too early.

Traders will "be glossing over the hawkishly skewed details of the US Federal Reserve's January meeting", according to Innes.

"These minutes revealed that policymakers are concerned about the potential risks of cutting interest rates too soon."

- Key figures around 0430 GMT -

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.8 percent at 38,959.81

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 0.2 percent at 16,528.01

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.5 percent at 2,965.48

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0828 from $1.0817 on Wednesday

Dollar/yen: UP at 150.32 yen from 150.24 yen

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2639 from $1.2630

Euro/pound: FLAT at 85.67 pence

West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.2 percent at $78.08 per barrel

Brent North Sea Crude: UP 0.2 percent at $83.21 per barrel

New York - Dow: UP 0.1 percent at 38,612.24 points (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.7 percent at 7,662.51 (close)

L.Janezki--BTB