BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher Wednesday after President Joe Biden reassured investors by calling for vaccinations and testing but no travel curbs in response to the omicron coronavirus variant.
Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul advanced while Shanghai was down less than 0.1%.
Wall Street rose, breaking a three-day decline and recovering the previous day’s losses.
Biden announced the government will provide 500 million free rapid-test kits and increase vaccination efforts but gave no indication of plans for travel bans or other restrictions that might disrupt the economy. Other governments in Asia and Europe have tightened travel controls or pushed back plans to relax curbs already in place.
Biden “provided some much-needed reassurances for markets,” Yeap Jun Rong of IG said in a report.
The Shanghai Composite Index declined to 3,623.14 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo advanced 0.2% to 28,562.21. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.2% to 23,004.11.
The Kospi in Seoul added 0.3% to 2,984.48, while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 edged 0.1% higher to 7,364.80. India’s Sensex rose 0.7% to 56,699.01.
New Zealand declined while Southeast Asian markets advanced.