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Asian stocks surge as TSMC boosts tech; Nikkei at record high


Investing.com– Asian stocks rose on Thursday as technology stocks rallied after positive revenue figures from chipmaking giant TSMC sparked more optimism over artificial intelligence, with Japanese stocks crossing new peaks. 

Regional stocks tracked an overnight rally on Wall Street, where the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite surged to record highs as comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell brewed optimism over a soft landing for the U.S. economy, and that interest rates will eventually fall this year.

Powell’s comments put upcoming consumer price index inflation data squarely in focus, given that the data is likely to factor into the Fed’s outlook on interest rates. 

Tech, chipmaking stocks surge tracking TSMC

Regional tech stocks were the best performers for the day, with chipmakers rising in tandem with Taiwan’s TSMC (TW:2330) (NYSE:TSM), after the world’s largest contract chipmaker was seen clocking much stronger-than-expected revenue in the second quarter. 

TSMC rose nearly 2% in Taiwan trade and hit a record high after releasing strong revenue figures for June. The chipmaker benefited greatly from increased chip demand due to the artificial intelligence industry.

This notion boosted other Asian tech stocks. The tech-heavy KOSPI and Hang Seng indexes added 1.5% and 0.8%, respectively.

Memory chip maker SK Hynix Inc (KS:000660), which has been closely tied to the AI industry, surged over 3%. South Korean stocks also took few cues from the Bank of Korea keeping interest rates steady for a 12th consecutive meeting.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 hits record high

Gains in tech stocks boosted Japanese markets, with the Nikkei 225 index surging 0.9% to a record high of 42,460.0 points. The broader TOPIX added 0.7%, as weakness in the yen also drew in a slew of foreign buying, and benefited export-oriented stocks. 

Weakcore machinery orders data brewed further doubts over Japan’s economic health, which is likely to keep the Bank of Japan cautious over raising interest rates further. Underwhelming producer inflation data released on Wednesday furthered this notion.

Broader Asian markets also advanced, as bets on U.S. interest rate cuts bolstered appetite for risk-driven stocks. 

Australia’s ASX 200 rose 0.9% and was within spitting distance of a record high. 

China’s Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 and Shanghai Composite indexes rose 1.1% and 0.7%, respectively. The two took some support from tech stocks, as they rebounded from over four-month lows hit earlier in July. 

Chinese stocks were battered by a slew of middling economic readings, which ramped up concerns over a sluggish economic recovery in the country. Focus is now on trade data due on Friday for more cues on Asia’s biggest economy.

Futures for India’s Nifty 50 index pointed to a positive open, with the index set to rebound from losses clocked in the prior session. The Nifty hit a series of record highs through June and early-July, and was hit with some profit-taking in recent sessions.

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