Tokyo's Nikkei surges nearly 4% after Wall Street recovery, Australia stocks also rally

A pedestrian walks past a stock market indicator board showing the Nikkei 225 Stock Average in Tokyo, Japan, on Dec 25, 2018.
A pedestrian walks past a stock market indicator board showing the Nikkei 225 Stock Average in Tokyo, Japan, on Dec 25, 2018.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

TOKYO (AFP, REUTERS) - Tokyo stocks surged nearly four per cent at the open on Thursday, with investors heartened by Wall Street's best performance in nine years.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index jumped 3.80 per cent or 733.58 points to 20,060.64 in early trade while the broader Topix index was up 3.94 per cent or 56.33 points at 1,487.80.

"Thanks to the sharp rebound in US shares, it is increasingly possible that Japanese stocks will end the year on a bullish note," Okasan Online Securities chief strategist Yoshihiro Ito said in a commentary.

Exporter shares rose strongly as a weaker yen improved their business outlook. The US dollar was trading at 111.17 yen, down from 111.33 yen in New York but up from 110.45 yen when Tokyo closed on Wednesday.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index climbed as much as 1.5 per cent to its biggest intra-day per centage gain in nearly one month.

Wall Street stocks roared back to life in post-Christmas trade on Wednesday, shaking off four straight routs following strong retail sales data and White House reassurances that Fed Chair Jerome Powell won't be fired.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up nearly 1,100 points, or about five per cent, with the broad-based S&P 500 also surging five per cent.

The US gains were the biggest for a single session on Wall Street in nine years, a surge analysts attributed in part to technical factors after days of selling.