Asian markets open higher after US tech gains

HONG KONG  -  Asian markets opened mostly up on Thursday, after higher-than-expected earnings from tech giant Nvidia and as investors weigh Fed minutes signaling most US officials are in no rush to cut rates. Highly anticipated earnings re­sults from US chip titan Nvidia beat expectations late Wednesday, with the firm reporting a quarterly profit of $12.3 billion on record-high revenue driven by demand for its AI-powering chips. Following a mixed day on Wall Street, the company announced re­cord revenue of $22.1 billion in the quarter that ended late January and $60.9 billion for the fiscal year.

Analysts say its bumper profits could drive up Asian markets, with Tokyo stocks moving towards a record high on Nvidia’s gains. “As goes Nvidia, so goes the market,” Kim Forrest, chief investment officer of Bokeh Capital Partners, told Bloomberg. Its earnings report “does confirm the narrative that AI is going to continue to be strong for the foreseeable future. This narrative supported the markets last year, why wouldn’t it do the same this year?” For­rest added. Stephen Innes, of SPI As­set Management, said Asian equities were “poised for a potential rise” on Thursday, supported by Nvidia’s gains in after-hours US trading, which saw its shares rise more than eight percent.

The firm’s first-quarter outlook ex­ceeded analysts’ forecasts, he noted.

Hong Kong stocks were down in ear­ly trade, while Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok, Manila and Wellington were all up. Shanghai and Sydney were flat. Lon­don was dragged lower Wednesday by HSBC, whose share price plunged more than eight percent after the lend­er revealed a shock $3 billion impair­ment on Chinese activities.

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