Asian markets rallied Friday and the euro held on to strong gains from New York after the European Central Bank chief said it would do “whatever it takes” to save the under-pressure single currency.
The comments from bank president Mario Draghi sent shares in Europe and the United States surging, while the borrowing rate for Spain fell back below the seven percent danger level.
Tokyo climbed 1.46 percent, or 123.54 points, to 8,566.64, Seoul was 2.62 percent, or 46.69 points, higher at 1,829.16, and Sydney finished 1.50 percent, or 62.1 points, higher at 4,209.8.
Hong Kong rose 2.02 percent, or 382.17 points, to 19,274.96 while Shanghai was 0.13 percent, or 2.77 points, higher at 2,128.77, with concerns over the local economy capping gains on the mainland.
Draghi, speaking at a business conference in London, said the “ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me it will be enough”.
His announcement sparked talk that the bank would carry out additional bond buying to push yields lower in Spain, where the rising cost of borrowing has been stoking fears of another bailout, and Italy.
The yield on Madrid’s benchmark 10-year bonds fell to 6.899 percent, which although still high is well down from the near eight percent levels seen earlier this week. Anything above seven percent is considered too high for governments to be able to service their debts over the long term.
The ECB, which is mandated only to guard price stability, has so far played a significant, but closely proscribed, role in tackling Europe’s debt and growth crisis.
Markets had already been lifted by the prospect of the soon-to-be launched European Stability Mechanism rescue fund being granted a banking licence, which would allow it to exchange bonds for ECB cash, boosting capacity without nations having to provide additional funds.
“These comments are very positive,” Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital, told Dow Jones Newswires.
“It has always been within the power of the ECB to bring an end to financial panic sweeping Europe.”
Global traders welcomed the remarks. On Wall Street the Dow jumped 1.67 percent, the S&P 500 rose 1.65 percent and the Nasdaq gained 1.37 percent.
And in Europe the Paris CAC 40 leapt 4.07 percent while Frankfurt’s DAX 30 rose 2.75 percent and the FTSE in London was up 1.68 percent.
Italian shares surged 5.62 percent and the Spanish market, which this week sank to a more than nine-year low, soared 6.06 percent.
The euro had surged in New York to a two-week high of $1.2330 at one point while also advancing to 96.02 yen.
In late afternoon Asian trade it bought $1.2290 and 96.15 yen.
The single currency had dived earlier this week to a 12-year low of 94.08 yen and two-year trough of $1.2050.
The dollar was at 78.28 yen in Asia, compared with 78.30 in New York.
Adding to the rise in Seoul was Samsung Electronics’ announcement that it had posted a record net profit of 5.19 trillion won ($4.53 billion) in the second quarter to the end of June, thanks to smartphone sales.
Oil prices were also higher. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in September, was up 40 cents to $89.79 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for September gained 66 cents to $105.92 in the late afternoon.
Gold was at $1,623.65 at 1040 GMT from $1,613.90 late Thursday.
In other markets:
Singapore closed down 0.20 percent, or 6.08 points, at 2,998.49.
Asia Pacific Breweries was unchanged at Sg$50.00 while Fraser and Neave gained 0.24 percent to Sg$8.40.
Taipei rose 2.21 percent, or 153.8 points, to 7,124.49.
TSMC gained 3.93 percent to Tw$79.3 while Chunghwa Telecom was 0.23 percent lower at Tw$88.1.
Manila closed 1.30 percent higher, adding 66.99 points to 5,219.55.
Ayala Corp. rose 0.82 percent to 416 pesos while its property unit Ayala Land gained 4.16 percent to 21.30 pesos and Philippine Long Distance Telephone climbed 0.90 percent to 2,698 pesos.
Wellington rose 0.45 percent, or 15.55 points, to 3,501.29.
Fletcher Building was up 1.02 percent at NZ$5.96 while Telecom Corp was down 0.97 percent at NZ$2.54.
Kuala Lumpur closed 0.06 percent higher, or 1.03 points at 1,624.94.
Plantation group Sime Darby gained 0.20 percent to 9.82 ringgit, while utility Tenaga Nasional added 0.29 percent to 6.82 ringgit. Plantation firm Felda Global Ventures lost 0.77 percent to 5.15 ringgit.
Jakarta closed up 1.98 percent, or 79.44 points, at 4,084.212.
Car maker Astra rose 3.1 percent to 6,650 rupiah, Bank Rakyat gained 5.5 percent to 6,700 rupiah, and Aneka Tambang added 0.79 percent to 1,280 rupiah.
Bangkok rose 0.43 percent, or 5.09 points, to 1,178.01.
Banpu dropped 1.97 percent to 398.00 Baht, while PTT added 1.90 percent to 322.00 Baht.
Mumbai rose 1.20 percent, or 199.37 points, to 16,839.19.
Leading vehicle maker Tata Motors rose 3.88 percent to 212.8 rupees while Tata Steel jumped 3.94 percent to 399.3 rupees.