The Dow achieved the milestone as solid earnings and optimism over US President Donald Trump's pro-growth initiatives revitalised a post-election rally.

A screen displays the Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassing the 20,000 mark following the closing bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, US, January 25, 2017.
A screen displays the Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassing the 20,000 mark following the closing bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, US, January 25, 2017.

Asian stocks gained early on Thursday, cheered by the Dow Jones Industrial Average breaching past the 20,000-level threshold for the first time.

The Dow closed atop the 20,000 mark for the first time as solid earnings and optimism over US President Donald Trump's pro-growth initiatives revitalised a post-election rally.

"While the Dow hitting 20,000 is one of the least meaningful data points on my screen, it does suggest that the equity rally is pretty broad based," said Michael Purves, chief global strategist and head of derivatives research at Weeden & Co.

"What's important is that the Dow is going up."

Asian markets also took cue from the US rally.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan tacked on 0.3 percent.

Australian stocks added 0.4 percent and Japan's Nikkei brushed aside a stronger yen to rise 1.1 percent.

Dow's 42-session surge from the first close above 19,000 was driven by financial stocks, specifically Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, which were together responsible for more than 20 percent of the move.

The fastest move between these thousand point milestones was 24 trading days between 10,000 and 11,000, from March 29 to May 3 of 1999. The rise from 18,000 to 19,000 took the Dow 483 trading sessions.

Much of the gains have come from stocks expected to benefit as the administration moves to put its policies in place.

Banks have been among the best performers since the Nov. 8 election of Trump, as investors bet that his expected fiscal stimulus will trigger inflation and bring higher interest rates.

President Trump expressed his enthusiasm over the milestone, with a "Great!" tweet on the official Twitter account of the office.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies