Japanese and Indian stocks outperformed the rest of Asia in thin trade Monday, with sentiment partly lifted by signs of U.S. economic recovery, although trading was subdued with many markets closed for Christmas holidays.
Tokyo’s Nikkei stock average <.N225> ended up 1 percent, above its 25-day moving average of 8,459, while India’s main 30-share BSE index <.BSESN> rose 1.14 percent, as investors sought holiday-season bargains.
But MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> slipped from a two-week high touched earlier in the day to trade down 0.1 percent.
U.S., European and some Asian markets including Hong Kong and Singapore were closed Monday.
Wall Street stocks rose Friday, with the broad Standard & Poor’s 500 Index <.SPX> breaking through its 200-day moving average after a four-day rally lifted stocks to bring the index up 0.6 percent for the year at last week’s close.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose to its highest in five months Friday.
“The Nikkei is moving with New York. The gains in the U.S. and Europe gave some sense of relief to markets,” said Hajime Nakajima, a wholesale trader at Cosmo Securities in Osaka, Japan.
In a sign the markets may be stabilizing for the time being, the CBOE Volatility index VIX <.VIX> fell to 20.73 on Friday, near a five-month low, reflecting receding investor desire for protection in stock index options against future losses.
The VIX — a measure of expected volatility in the S&P 500 over the next 30 days — fell to its lowest since the global financial crisis of October 2008 at 14.3 earlier this year, before picking up to a year high of 48 in August. It has been slipping since hitting a high above 30 earlier this month.