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Asia-Pacific stocks mostly up as U.S. shares rally

Shanghai Composite

Nikkei 225 gained 1.08%, KOSPI added 0.88%, ASX 200 climbed 1.12%, Hang Seng Index edged down 0.07%, Shanghai Composite was up 0.27% and the Shenzhen Component added 0.49%

Asia-Pacific stocks were mostly up on Wednesday morning after U.S. shares saw their biggest rally in nine months and bets increase that the omicron COVID-19 variant will not hinder the global economic recovery.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.08% by 2:18 AM GMT and South Korea’s KOSPI added 0.88%.

In Australia, the ASX 200 climbed 1.12%, with Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Governor Philip Lowe due to speak on Thursday.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged down 0.07%.

China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.27% and the Shenzhen Component added 0.49%. Chinese data, including the consumer and producer price indexes, is due on Thursday.

Trading in Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd.’s Hong Kong shares was suspended on Wednesday, and the list of Chinese developers who might not be able to meet upcoming financial obligations is growing.

Investors are regaining their risk appetite after omicron’s discovery introduced a bout of market volatility. Omicron cases have not yet overwhelmed hospitals, and the Pfizer Inc./BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to provide partial protection against the variant in a South African study.

This anecdotal evidence appears to have calmed financial markets, for now, as evidenced by the recovery in risk assets, Commonwealth Bank of Australia strategist Carol Kong said in a note.

‘But we caution against drawing conclusions from these early reports,’ and unless omicron proves resistant to vaccines, ‘we expect the global economy will largely continue with its pre‑omicron recovery path,’ the note added.

In other central bank news, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will hand down its policy decision later in the day.

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