Asia stocks lifted as Wall Street extends comeback

TOKYO (Reuters) – Asia stocks gained on Friday after Wall Street ended volatile trade in the green, adding to the big advances of the previous session, although lingering investor jitters helped support safe-haven currencies such as the yen.

FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians are reflected on an electronic board showing stock prices outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan December 27, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3 percent. It has fallen almost 4 percent so far in December.

The Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.3 percent.

Australian stocks added 0.6 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI climbed 0.5 percent. Japan’s Nikkei bucked the trend and slipped 0.5 percent, losing some steam after surging nearly 4 percent the previous session.

U.S. stocks roared back to end in positive territory on Thursday, with the Dow adding 1.14 percent, after suffering steep losses for much of the session. [.N]

The gains come a day after Wall Street indexes posted their biggest daily percentage increases in nearly a decade following a sharp plunge at the week’s start.

However, all three U.S. major indexes remain down more than 9 percent for December following losses earlier in the month, when factors including concerns over the U.S.-China trade war, slowing global growth and wariness toward the Federal Reserve’s tightening cycle took a heavy toll.

“Selling pressure on U.S. equities is beginning to dissipate, but the VIX index is still around 29 with investor risk sentiment still recovering. A renewed market slide remains a risk,” said Junichi Ishikawa, senior FX strategist at IG Securities in Tokyo.

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