Asian Shares Rally Amid U.S. Debt Ceiling Progress

Asian stocks rallied on Thursday after news emerged that U.S. Congressional Democrats and Republicans could reach a deal to raise the debt limit by a certain level that could tide the Treasury over until December.

Chinese markets remained closed for Golden Week holidays. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index soared 735.24 points, or 3.1 percent, to 24,701.73.

Shares of Chinese Estates Holdings – a former major shareholder of embattled developer China Evergrande – spiked almost 32 percent after it announced an offer to take the company private for 1.91 billion Hong Kong dollars ($245 million).

Japanese shares rose as investors bought back battered shares amid signs of progress in U.S. political negotiations over the debt ceiling. The Nikkei 225 Index ended up 149.34 points, or 0.5 percent, at 27,678.21 after eight consecutive sessions of losses.

The broader Topix ended 0.1 percent lower at 1,939.62, extending losses for the ninth consecutive session and marking its longest losing streak since 2012.

Shipping and tech stocks led the rebound, while supermarket chain operator Aeon lost 6.1 percent after posting disappointing earnings.

Australian markets rose notably as banks rebounded and technology stocks followed their U.S. peers higher. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 50.20 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7,256.70, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 55 points, or 0.7 percent, at 7,551.20.

Buy-now-pay-later giant Afterpay rallied 3.1 percent, while banks ANZ, NAB and Westpac rose between 1 percent and 1.6 percent. Energy stocks ended lower as oil prices dropped for a second straight session.

Seoul stocks posted strong gains amid easing concerns over the U.S. debt ceiling. The benchmark Kospi jumped 51.15 points, or 1.8 percent, to 2,959.46, with banks and automakers leading the surge. Hyundai Motor shot up 3.6 percent, its smaller affiliate Kia surged 6.8 percent and top bank cap Kakao Bank added 3.5 percent.

South Korea had a current account surplus of $7.51 billion in August, the Bank of Korea said earlier today, down from $8.21 billion in July.

New Zealand shares ended lower for the third consecutive session as rising interest rates stoked worries about equity valuations. Th benchmark NZX-50 Index dropped 61.83 points, or 0.5 percent, to 13,104.61.

A2 Milk gave up 2.2 percent and Synlait Milk shed 0.8 percent as the Global Dairy Trade index was unchanged at the latest fortnightly auction overnight.

U.S. stocks reversed early losses to end higher overnight as ADP employment data beat analyst expectations and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., offered to allow a temporary extension of the debt limit.

The Dow plunged by more than 450 points before ending the session 0.3 percent higher. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose half a percent and the S&P 500 added 0.4 percent.

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