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Asian markets surge as Nvidia fuels tech rally

Interest rate concerns stir fluctuations in Asian stocks
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February 23, 2024 (MLN): Asian shares climbed Friday following a day of record highs in Japanese, US and European markets after demand for AI-powering chips drove tech gains, as APP reported.

Investors celebrated on Thursday as bumper profits reported by US chip giant Nvidia, seen as a bellwether for the artificial intelligence boom, helped boost Tokyo's benchmark index past a record high set in 1989.

The Nvidia and AI excitement prompted a broader rally in tech shares, with Wall Street and eurozone indices hitting fresh records.

"Investors in Asia are entering Friday's trading session riding the bull of optimism, buoyed by the U.S.-led surge in mega tech stocks that has fueled a global stock market boom," Stephen Innes, managing partner of SPI Asset Management, said in a note.

"The remarkable ascent witnessed across global markets on Thursday, driven by Nvidia's impressive 16.5% surge, is expected to set a positive tone for Asian markets on Friday."

Shanghai, Sydney, Seoul, Taipei, Wellington and Mumbai, as well as Bangkok, Manila and Kuala Lumpur were all trading higher. Jakarta and Singapore were down, while Hong Kong was flat.

Tokyo markets are closed Friday for a public holiday, following the Nikkei 225's record close up 2.2% at 39,098.68, boosted by Nvidia's quarterly gains.

Nvidia shares on Thursday surged more than 16%, lifting its market value to almost $2 trillion, after it reported quarterly profits rose to $12.3 billion on record high revenue.

Tom Hulick at Strategy Asset Managers told Bloomberg that demand for AI was "surging worldwide across companies, industries and nations".

"We own NVDA and continue to hold the company. This is an exciting momentum play that we have been promoting and participating with for a few years now," he added.

On Thursday, three US Federal Reserve officials signaled interest rate cuts would more than likely come later this year, with one suggesting he wanted to see "at least another couple more months of inflation data" before deciding when to start lowering rates.

In China, data released Thursday showed the number of foreclosed properties for sale in the country increased at a faster pace last month, according to Bloomberg, reflecting the second-largest economy's struggling housing sector.

Innes said it was too early to judge the effectiveness of Beijing's move this week to cut a key lending rate, a measure intended to support the country's beleaguered economy, but traders would be eyeing the release of Chinese house price data on Friday.

"Over the past two years, house prices in China have consistently declined year-on-year," he said.

"A reversal to growth in these prices would instill confidence among investors that the worst of the property sector downturn has passed and that the economy is on a more stable footing."

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Posted on: 2024-02-23T11:06:15+05:00