Asian shares and Wall Street futures nudged higher on Wednesday amid hopes the worst of the coronavirus in China may have passed, although prevailing uncertainty about the outbreak has kept investors wary.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.1%. Australian shares (AXJO) were up 0.27%, while Japan's Nikkei stock index (N225) rose 0.45%.
Oil futures, which have been in a downtrend since the start of the year, rose in Asia from 13-month lows due to budding optimism about the virus and hopes that output cuts by major producers will support prices.
The yuan held gains in offshore trade and safe-havens such as Treasuries, the yen and the Swiss franc were marginally weaker in a sign of slowly improving sentiment.
The global mood brightened after China's senior medical adviser said on Tuesday the number of new coronavirus cases was falling in some provinces and forecast the epidemic would peak this month.
The number of new cases in Hubei, the province at the epicenter of the outbreak, was 1,068 as of Tuesday, down from a peak of over 3,000 new cases on Feb. 4, and the lowest number of new infections since Jan. 31.
Source : Reuters