Thu, 02 Apr 2020

SYDNEY, Australia - Encouraging news on the coronavirus front spurred a strong reaction on Asian stock markets on Thursday.

The number of cases reported in China on Wednesday was 394, well down on the previous day's 1,749, and one of the lowest daily tallies since last month.

The good news however is partly due to a change in diagnosing patients in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak. Nonetheless it was welcoming news, although tempered by the fact that the number of deaths has now surpassed the 2,000 mark.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong was the party-pooper Thursday. At the close of trading it was 46.65 points or 0.17% lower at 27,609.16.

In mainland China however there was strong demand for stocks with the Shanghai Composite jumping 54.75 points or 1.84% to 3,030.15..

The Nikkei 225 in Japan closed 78.45 points or 0.87% ahead at 9,817.18.

The Australian All Ordinaries climbed 17.80 points or 0.25% to 7,255.20.

The U.S. dollar powered ahead, eclipsing the strong gains made in New York on Wednesday.

The euro fell to 1.0793 by the close in Sydney on Thursday. The British pound wilted to 1.2908. The Japanese yen fell to 111.43.

The Swiss franc was slightly weaker at 0.9839. The Canadian dollar edged down to 1.3231.

The Australian dollar was easier at 0.6647, as was the New Zealand dollar at 0.6357.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones closed 115.84 points or 0.40% higher at 29,348.03.

The Standard and Poor's 500 rose 15.86 points or 0.47% to 3,386.15.

The Nasdaq Composite was 84.44 points or 0.87% higher at 9,817.18.

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