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Asian Markets Enjoy Second Straight Day of Gains

Currency trader watch monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, April 3, 2020.

Trading is on the upswing for the second straight day in Asian stock markets as hope rises that the deadly coronavirus pandemic may be easing.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index had gained 2% by late Tuesday afternoon as the nation awaited Prime Minister Shinzo Abe formal introduction of a $990 billion economic stimulus plan. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong earned just over one percent, while Seoul’s KOSPI index was up 1.6% and Shanghai was trading nearly 2% higher.

Australia’s S&P/ASX was slightly lower at three-tenths of one percent.

The good numbers from Asia continued the Monday’s much-welcomed rally across the globe, capped by the 7% across-the-board rally on Wall Street. The global economy has ground to a standstill as authorities have imposed strict lockdowns and quarantines to stop the spread of the coronavirus, which has sickened over 1,300,000 people across the globe, including nearly 75,000 deaths.

But investors are expressing cautious optimism on news that the number of confirmed cases and fatalities in Spain and Italy, two of the world’s biggest hotspots for the virus, have been steadily declining in recent days, while the daily death toll in New York City has essentially evened out while the number of new coronavirus patients have slowly begun to decline.