Global markets: Asian stocks extend gains on firm Wall Street

Asian stocks extended gains on Tuesday as overnight strength on Wall Street and the Federal Reserve’s cautious turn underpinned appetite for riskier assets, while the dollar held firm on last week’s upbeat U.S. data.

European shares were expected to open higher, with financial spread-betters seeing Britain’s FTSE, France’s CAC, Germany’s DAX to tick up between 0.3 and 0.5 percent each.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.5 percent and hovered near its four-month high marked on Friday.

Japan’s Nikkei average marked its highest level in seven weeks at one point but finished the day down 0.2 percent.

Australian shares jumped 2 percent, with long-battered financials surging on short-covering after a special government-appointed inquiry excoriated Australia’s financial sector for misconduct but left the structure of the country’s powerful banks in place.

Elsewhere in Asia, trade was light, with markets in greater China, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Indonesia all closed for the Lunar New Year.

Source: Voice of Nigeria