Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Wednesday trade. The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.63% while the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia climbed 0.87%. Singapore’s FTSE Straits Times Index advanced 0.90%
Elsewhere, mainland Chinese stocks slipped, with the Shanghai Composite down 0.39%. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong declined 0.65%, and South Korea’s KOSPI was marginally lower.
Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 jumped 2.02% to 4,088.85 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged 2.76% to 11,984.52. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 431.17 points, or 1.34%, to 32,654.59.
Oil prices extended gains on Wednesday on hopes of demand recovery in China, as the country gradually eases some of its strict COVID-19 containment measures.
Shanghai on Tuesday achieved its long-awaited milestone of three consecutive days with no new COVID-19 cases outside quarantine zones and on Monday set out plans for ending a lockdown that has lasted more than six weeks.
Brent crude futures were up 0.52%, at $112.31 a barrel, while U.S. WTI crude futures climbed 0.57%, to $113.03 a barrel.
U.S. crude and gasoline stocks fell last week, market sources said citing API figures on Tuesday. U.S. government data is due on Wednesday.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 103.390 after a recent decline from levels above 104. The dollar recoiled from near two-decade highs as investors pushed worry about inflation and recession to the back of their minds.
Benchmark 10-year Treasuries were steady in Asia and the yield sat just below 3% at 2.971. European yields are also rising as the likelihood of the ECB hiking rates by 25-bps around July is firming.
Cryptocurrency markets were fairly quiet. Bitcoin was barely changed at around $30,000.
Spot gold dropped 0.32% to $1,809.08 per ounce, and U.S. gold futures slipped 0.56% to $1,808.70. Spot silver fell 0.7% to $21.46 per ounce, platinum dipped 0.6% to $945.37, and palladium eased 1% to $2,031.54.
Asia's equity markets struggled to carry recent gains into a fourth straight session on Wednesday, as risks around inflation, monetary tightening, the war in Ukraine and Chinese growth remain high and still point to more downside in share markets.
Optimism on China’s easing of lockdowns capped the decline, as Shanghai has achieved zero-Covid status across its districts and the city is expected to gradually open up, aiming to resume normal life by June 1.
In the United States, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday pledged that the central bank would ratchet up interest rates as high as needed to stifle a surge in inflation that he said threatened the foundation of the economy. Earlier in May, the U.S. central bank raised rates by half a percentage point —its largest hike in two decades — as it looks to fight inflation.