BEIJING — Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher Thursday for a second day as optimism about an economic recovery appeared to outweigh concern over rising coronavirus cases and inflation.

The Shanghai Composite Index
SHCOMP,
+0.27%

rose 0.3% and the Hang Seng
HSI,
+1.63%

in Hong Kong surged 1.7%. The Kospi
180721,
+1.06%

in Seoul added 1.1% and the S&P/ASX 200
XJO,
+0.94%

in Sydney rose 0.9%. Stocks gained in Singapore
STI,
+1.30%
,
Taiwan
Y9999,
+0.39%

and Indonesia
JAKIDX,
+1.29%
.

Tokyo markets were closed for a public holiday.

Overnight, Wall Street’s S&P 500 index
SPX,
+0.82%

rose 0.8%, putting it on pace for a weekly gain after rebounding from Monday’s 1.6% loss. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+0.83%

gained 0.8% to 34,798 and the Nasdaq composite
COMP,
+0.92%

added 0.9% to 14,631.95.

Investors are wavering between optimism about a global recovery and unease that it might be delayed by the spread of the virus’s more contagious delta variant. They also worry central bankers might feel pressure to tame rising inflation by rolling back easy credit.

“The delta variant remains an ever-present downside risk for the markets in the near-term,” said Craig Erlam of Oanda in a report, “but as long as inflation remains only a temporary problem, it also keeps central bank hawks at bay.”

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude
CLU21,
-0.57%

lost 31 cents to $69.99 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $2.88 on Wednesday to $70.30. Brent crude
BRNU21,
-0.62%
,
used to price international oils, shed 35 cents to $71.88 per barrel in London. It advanced $2.88 the previous session to $72.23.

The dollar
USDJPY,
-0.13%

declined to 110.14 yen from Wednesday’s 110.28 yen.

Read More