Asia Markets

Japan stocks jump 7% as Fed ramps up stimulus measures; Softbank surges almost 19%

Key Points
  • Shares in Asia jumped on Tuesday, with shares in Japan and South Korea leading gains among the region's major markets.
  • The U.S. Federal Reserve announced an open-ended asset purchase program on Monday, while Germany is set to unveil major stimulus measures as the death toll from the virus rises throughout Europe.

Stocks in Asia jumped on Tuesday as authorities ramped up stimulus measures to combat the economic impact of the global coronavirus outbreak.

Japan's Nikkei 225 was among the region's major markets that the saw the largest increase. It surged 7.13% by the close to 18,092.35 as shares of index heavyweights Fast Retailing and Softbank Group soared 13.79% and 18.95%, respectively, while the Topix rose 3.18% to end its trading day at 1,333.10.

In South Korea, the Kospi rose 8.6% to close at 1,609.97.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index also jumped 4.25%, as of its final hour of trading, with shares of Chinese tech juggernaut Tencent gaining 4.71%.

Mainland Chinese stocks also saw gains on the day, with the Shanghai composite up 2.34% to about 2,722.44 while the Shenzhen composite added 2.105% to around 1,666.22.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia advanced, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 4.17% to close at 4,735.70.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index rose 5.02%.

The U.S. Federal Reserve announced an open-ended asset purchase program on Monday. The central bank said the program will run in the "amounts needed to support smooth market functioning and effective transmission of monetary policy to broader financial conditions and the economy."  

"The Fed has committed to buying debt, not just government and residential mortgage backed securities but now for the first time commercial mortgages (paper backed by office buildings and the like)," Ray Attrill, head of foreign exchange strategy at National Australia Bank, wrote in a note.

"Unlike during the post (global financial crisis) when there were quantitative limits on how much the Fed would buy each month, purchase amounts are now unlimited," Attrill said.

Meanwhile, Germany is set to unveil major stimulus measures as the death toll from the virus rises throughout Europe. Both the region and the U.S. have seen a dramatic increase in the number of infected in recent weeks.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 101.547 after seeing an earlier high of 102.213. Last week, it breached the 100 level.

Goldman Sachs' Zach Pandl told CNBC on Tuesday morning that there is a "strengthening case for dollar intervention at this point."

"We do think that there is a rising case for direct intervention to weaken the dollar by U.S. authorities," Pandl, who is co-head of global foreign exchange, rates and emerging markets strategy at Goldman Sachs, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Tuesday. "This is something that is fairly uncommon, so we need to be taking it somewhat seriously, but this is the type of environment that intervention is designed for.

"The Fed and the Treasury intervene to combat disorderly markets, and that's definitely what we've been seeing in foreign exchange over the last couple of weeks," Pandl said.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.42 per dollar after touching an earlier low of 111.28. The Australian dollar was at $0.596 after rising from levels around $0.57 yesterday.

Oil prices were up in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures 4.33% higher at $28.20 per barrel while U.S. crude futures added 4.97% to $24.52 per barrel.

— CNBC's Fred Imbert contributed to this report.