07:01 AM EDT, 03/25/2020 (MT Newswires) -- Asian stock markets Wednesday surged following media reports that the Trump administration reached a $2.2 trillion fiscal stimulus deal with the US Senate. The financial aid is aimed at helping workers and industries hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus that has infected more than 425,000 worldwide that has left 19,120 dead.
Asian stocks extended Tuesday's rallies, with Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo notching solid gains along with other regional exchanges. In rare good news, new COVID-19 infections remain at a near standstill in China.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 opened higher and charged up 8% as investors anticipated pending central bank and fiscal stimulus in Washington and Tokyo to deal with the pandemic. Also, the yen softened against the US dollar, regarded as a positive in export-oriented Japan. The COVID-19 crisis prompted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday to agree to suspend the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games for one year. Japan has reported 1,193 coronavirus cases and 43 fatalities in a nation of 127 million.
The Nikkei 225 rose 1,454.28 to 19,546.63, as gaining issues outnumbered losers 223 to two.
Leading the upside was real estate firm Tokyo Fudosan (TTUUF, 3289:Tokyo), up 19.8%, followed by Sumitomo Realty & Development (SURDF, 8830:Tokyo), up 19.7%, and property concern Tokyo Tatemono (TYTMF, 8804:Tokyo), up 16.9%.
The entire downside was represented by materials-and-textiles maker Unitika (3103;Tokyo), off 1.5%, and Chugai Pharmaceutical (CHGCF, 4519:Tokyo), off 1%.
The delay of the 2020 Olympics could cost Japan's economy $6.3 billion, after the government has spent $9.0 billion on infrastructure related to the games, reported The Nikkei Asian Review.
The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index opened higher and held ground, finishing up 863.70, or 3.8%, at 23,527.13, as gaining issues outnumbered losers 49 to one.
Leading the upside was pork purveyor WH Group (288:HK), up 11.2%, followed by knitwear maker Shenzhou International (2313:HK), up 10.7%, and toolmaker Techtronic (669:HK), up 9.6%.
Telecom services company China Mobile (941:HK) fell 0.9%.
On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite rose 2.2% to 2,781.59.
In economic news, about one-quarter of the 119 companies surveyed by the US Chamber of Commerce said they expect operations to return to normal levels by the end of April.
On the other exchanges, the S. Korean Kospi rose 5.9%; the Taiwan TWSE inclined 3.9%; the Australian ASX 200 rose 5.5%; the Singapore Straits Times Index rose 6.1%, and the Thai Set inclined 4.5%. In late trading in Mumbai, the Sensex was up 7%.
The MSCI Asia Apex 50, a broad measure of Asian stock markets excluding Japan, rose 3.3%.
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