By Lisa Twaronite and Nichola Saminather
A pedestrian holding her umbrella is reflected on an electronic board showing the Japan’s Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, September 4, 2015.
Asian shares caught a tailwind on Wednesday on the heels strong rallies in the United States and Europe, with Japanese stocks on course for their biggest one-day gain in 4 1/2 years.
Japan’s Nikkei soared 5.7 percent, on track for its biggest rise in one day since March 2011, after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reiterated a pledge to lower the corporate tax rate.
In the previous session, the Nikkei lost 2.4 percent and wiped out its year-to-date gain.
The MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan also rallied hard, rising 2.5 percent as of 0326 GMT, with gains across all the major indices that were open.
Major Wall Street indices all posted gains of more than 2 percent overnight.
European stocks also had a banner day on news Germany’s imports and exports hit record highs in value terms in July.
Chinese shares rose late on Tuesday after negotiating some dour economic news in the form of a bigger-than-expected drop in imports. The trade data raised fears that China’s slowdown could be sharper than many had expected, which in turn raised hopes that Beijing would muster more easing steps to prevent a hard landing.
“With many markets having been sold off heavily over recent weeks, today’s rally, like the U.S. last night, represents a speculative bounce,” said Angus Gluskie, managing director of White Funds Management in Sydney.
“The market will remain susceptible to a return of negativity until we see signs of some improvement in the original causes of weakness, which were predominantly Chinese growth concerns,” he said.
The greenback also firmed about 0.5 percent against the yen to 120.33 JPY= as the improved market mood tempered the appeal of the safe-haven Japanese currency.
The euro also gained on the yen, rising 0.2 percent to 134.49 EURJPY=.
Crude oil futures remained steady but at low levels on lingering concerns about a global supply glut.
U.S. crude CLc1 rose 0.2 percent to $46.15 ahead of weekly crude inventories data due from industry group American Petroleum Institute later in the session.
Brent crude LCOc1 added 0.5 percent to $49.76, after jumping 4 percent the previous session following upbeat German economic data.
(Reporting by Lisa Twaronite, Nichola Saminather; Editing by Eric Meijer and Shri Navaratnam)