Stocks in Asia rose in Thursday morning trade as the European Central Bank announced a massive stimulus package.
The Nikkei 225 in Japan jumped 2.02% in early trade while the Topix index was 2.15% higher. In South Korea, the Kospi advanced 0.46%.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.41% after earlier jumping more than 2%. Australian jobs data for February is expected to be released around 8:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Thursday.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.1% lower.
Developments surrounding the global coronavirus outbreak will continue to be watched on Thursday.
The European Central Bank announced Wednesday a new Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme that will use €750 billion (approx. $821 billion) to purchase securities to help support the European economy.
“The ECB will ensure that all sectors of the economy can benefit from supportive financing conditions that enable them to absorb this shock,” the central bank said in a release. “This applies equally to families, firms, banks and governments. The Governing Council will do everything necessary within its mandate.”
The ECB’s announcement came on the back of moves announced in recent days by central banks such the U.S. Federal Reserve and Japan’s Bank of Japan to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
So far, at least 207,860 have been infected while at least 8,657 lives have been taken by the disease globally, according to the latest data from the World Health Organization.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1,338.46 points to close at 19,898.92. That was the index’s first close below 20,000 since February 2017. The S&P 500 fell 5.2% to 2,398.10 and ended its trading day nearly 30% below a record set last month. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.7% to close at 6,989.84.
Oil prices surge
Oil prices bounced back from Wednesday losses in the morning of Asian trading hours on Thursday. International benchmark Brent crude futures jumped 8.24% to $26.93 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude surged 15.95% to $23.62 per barrel.
The moves came after oil prices plunged to their third worst day on record on Wednesday. U.S. crude fell 24.4% to settle at $20.37 per barrel, its lowest level since Feb. 2002. Brent dropped 14.1% to $24.67, its lowest level since 2003.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 101.160 after rising from levels below 100 yesterday.
The Japanese yen traded at 108.39 per dollar after seeing levels below 106 earlier in the week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.5798 after declining from levels above $0.6 earlier in the week.
Here’s a look at what’s on tap in the trading day ahead:
Australia: Jobs data for February at 8:30 a.m. HK/SIN
— CNBC’s Thomas Franck contributed to this report.