Asian shares rise, buyers digest potential tax hikes within the US

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From Gina Lee – Asia Pacific stocks mostly rallied Friday morning, stabilizing after broad-based declines among their U.S. counterparts as investors continue to digest a U.S. proposal for higher taxes to fund the country's latest social plan.

Japan fell 0.74% to 10:37 p.m. (02:37 a.m. GMT). The government was preparing to declare a state of emergency COVID-19 in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo Prefectures from April 25 to May 11 for alcohol, facilities with karaoke equipment and commercial facilities with a floor space of 1,000 square meters and more are asked to close as part of the latest measures.

South Korea gained 0.10% while Australia fell 0.15%.

Hong Kong rose 1.15%. China's rose 0.49% and rose 0.69%.

US President Joe Biden will nearly double the capital gains tax to 39.6% for those who earn more than $ 1 million a year.

Investors are also watching the current earnings season and the latest mixed results. While AT&T Inc. (NYSE 🙂 beat earnings estimates and its stocks jumped Thursday, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ 🙂 reported a decline in both data center sales and gross profit margins. As a result, stocks of the world's largest chip maker fell after the previous session ended.

"In the short term, we will most likely continue to experience volatility as investors take advantage of the current environment to make profits," said Matthews International (NASDAQ 🙂 Capital Management LLC. Portfolio manager Teresa Kong told Bloomberg.

However, the rising number of COVID-19 cases around the world continued to dampen investor sentiment. India hit a new world record of 314,835 cases on Thursday. Bodies piled in crematoria and burial grounds as the recent brutal wave of the virus continued to hit the country. Several countries including Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Australia have decided to limit the number of flights from India.

World Health Organization Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus appealed to governments and corporations controlling "the global supply" of COVID-19 vaccines to share supplies and expertise to make distribution more equitable.

The decision of the European Central Bank announced on Thursday and the further assurance from President Christine Lagarde that withdrawals in the emergency purchase program of the central bank are not up for discussion despite the improvement in economic data did not weigh on the markets either. Investors are now waiting for the Federal Reserve to pass the following week.

Stocks have gotten a boost on the data front as fewer than 547,000 were filed in the US last week.'s forecasts predicted 617,000 claims, compared with 586,000 claims the previous week.

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