By Ambar Warrick
Investing.com– Asian stocks rallied on Thursday, tracking a strong overnight session on Wall Street after a series of positive earnings, while the tech-heavy Hong Kong benchmark led gains ahead of Alibaba Group’s second quarter results.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped as much as 2% in morning trade, with tech heavyweights Tencent Holdings Ltd (HK:0700) and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (HK:9988) among the biggest boosts.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 0.5%, while China’s blue-chip Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 rose 0.4% as of 2251 ET (0251 GMT).
Alibaba jumped nearly 5% ahead of its second quarter results, due before the U.S. open later in the day. The e-commerce giant is expected to post its first-ever revenue decline on weakening trends in China, its biggest market.
But analysts expect its prospects could improve later in the year, tracking a recovery in China.
Sentiment in the Asian open was cheered by a strong overnight session on Wall Street. The Nasdaq Composite jumped to a three-month high on positive results from PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL), which was one of the best performers for the day. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average were also boosted by a swathe of strong earnings.
Positive service sector data from the United States also helped offset a glum manufacturing reading earlier in the week.
Australia’s benchmark ASX 200 index rose 0.2% after the country logged a record trade surplus in June. The reading shows that despite domestic headwinds, Australia’s economy is likely to remain underpinned by steady demand for its commodity exports.
Meanwhile, Taiwan stocks lagged behind their Asian peers amid continued concerns over a potential standoff with China. The Taiwan Weighted index fell 0.5%.
Reuters reported that suspected drones had flown over outlying Taiwanese islands, while its defense ministry website was targeted by hackers.
This comes after U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taipei earlier this week- a move that was lambasted by China.
China is also reportedly carrying out military drills near the sea border with Taiwan.