Most of the Asian equity benchmarks are trading up in the early deals on Thursday, tracking a strong close in the US equity market and solid US economic data that saw the yen weakening. Besides, positive cues from Wall Street higher crude oil prices too was lifting investor sentiment. However, gains are muted in most markets as investors turned cautious ahead of the crucial US jobs data on Friday. Japan's Nikkei share average rose as a weaker yen boosted investors' risk appetite. Among the other Asian markets, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia are all up with modest gains. Bucking the trend, Taiwan and Indonesia are lower. The markets in China will remain closed all week.
Nikkei 225 surged 107.30 points or 0.64% to 16,926.54, Hang Seng added 114.38 points or 0.48% to 23,902.69, KOSPI Index gained 7.59 points or 0.37% to 2,060.59, Straits Times rose 11.70 points or 0.41% to 2,893.49, and FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI was up by 3.77 points or 0.23% to 1,666.69.
On the flip side, Jakarta Composite declined 1.61 points or 0.03% to 5,419.04, and Taiwan Weighted was down by 16.37 points or 0.18% to 9,255.91.