Asian Stocks Up, Buoyed by U.S.’ Passage of Infrastructure Bill

This post was originally published on this site – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly up on Wednesday morning. Gains remained modest as investors continued to asset the impact of rising COVID-19 cases and central bank asset tapering on the global economy.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.56% by 9:32 PM ET (1:32 AM GMT) while South Korea’s KOSPI was down 0.33%.

In Australia, the ASX 200 rose 0.62%, with the Westpac consumer sentiment index dropping 4.4% in August compared to the 1.5% growth the month before.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 0.39%.

China’s Shanghai Composite edged up 0.14% while the Shenzhen Component rose 0.78%.

Global shares were buoyed by the U.S. Senate’s passage of a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, which will now head to the House of Representatives for a vote. Investors now await U.S. data, including the core consumer price index, due to be released later in the day.

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s next move is also under scrutiny. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans expects substantial further progress later in the year on asset tapering, while Kansas City Fed President Esther George is among the Fed officials who will speak throughout the week.

The number of COVID-19 cases involving the Delta variant continues its upward trend globally, but some investors said the level of concern is slowly starting to come down.

“There’s clearly more focus and concern on the Delta variant of COVID-19, but, to this point, markets have appraised that as a manageable risk… the market is climbing the wall of worry,” CIBC Private Wealth Management chief investment officer David Donabedian told Bloomberg.

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin remained above the $45,000-mark. Demand for the digital coin is soaring as the Senate blocked changes to reporting rules that govern cryptocurrencies when it passed the infrastructure plan.