NEW YORK: Asian shares were set to track Wall Street gains on Thursday, as renewed hopes for more U.S. stimulus helped restore investor confidence in the New York session.
U.S. President Donald Trump sent a flurry of late night tweets on Wednesday urging Congress to pass piece-meal aid packages for targeted industries, small business and consumers, backing off his earlier stance to unilaterally end negotiations.
Markets are also starting to price in a Democratic sweep during the U.S. election in November as new polls show former Vice President Joe Biden with a firm lead. Investors see such an outcome making the passage of a new stimulus bill more likely.
"Even if there was no slimmed down stimulus package, there is a greater chance of a larger stimulus package later," National Australia Bank analyst Tapas Strickland said of a potential Biden victory.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.91per cent, the S&P 500 gained 1.74per cent and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.88per cent.
MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 1.05per cent.
Gains in Asian futures were more muted ahead of a U.S. employment data release that's expected to show the recovery in the world's largest economy losing steam. Economists forecast a decline in jobless claims however, continued claims are expected to remain firmly above 10 million.
Many members of the Federal Open Market Committee said their economic outlook assumed additional fiscal support, according to U.S. Federal Reserve minutes released on Wednesday. Central bank officials believe if aid packages are too small or too late, the economy is in for a weak recovery.
E-mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.07per cent. Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures rose 0.42per cent in early Asia trade.
Japan's Nikkei 225 futures added 0.08per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index futures rose 0.29per cent.
Fresh stimulus hopes prompted a rally in gold and tamped safe-haven demand for U.S. Treasuries and the dollar.
Spot gold rose 0.5per cent to US$1,887.05 per ounce but U.S. gold futures settled down 0.9per cent.
On Wednesday, U.S. 10-year yields rose to 0.786per cent from 0.74per cent late on Tuesday. Yields on U.S. 30-year bonds were at 1.593per cent, up from 1.537per cent the previous session.
The dollar index fell 0.19per cent against a basket of major currencies to 93.64.
In energy markets, oil prices dropped due to a larger-than-expected increase in inventories.
Brent crude futures fell 66 cents, or 1.6per cent, to settle at US$41.99 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 72 cents, or 1.8per cent, to settle at US$39.95 a barrel.
(Reporting by Imani Moise; Editing by Sam Holmes)