Asian Markets Remain Upbeat on Ongoing Talks Between South, North Korea
Asian stocks closed mostly higher on Tuesday as investors digested earnings guidance from tech heavyweight Samsung Electronics and kept an eye on ongoing talks between South Korea and North Korea.
Chinese shares extended gains for the eighth straight session after central bank data showed China’s foreign exchange reserves increased for the eleventh straight month in December.
Foreign exchange reserves rose $20.7 billion to $3.14 trillion at the end of December, reaching the highest level since September of 2016. Chinese producer and consumer price inflation data will be released on Wednesday.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index inched up 5.35 points or 0.2 percent to 3,414.83, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 111.88 points or 0.4 percent to 31,011.41.
Japanese shares hit a 26-year high, with sentiment lifted by record highs on Wall Street overnight and strong December sales reported by clothing company Fast Retailing at its Uniqlo clothing outlets in Japan.
Investors shrugged of the yen’s strength against the dollar after the Bank of Japan trimmed the size of its bond-repurchase offer in its latest market operation.
The Nikkei 225 Index climbed 135.46 points or 0.6 percent to 23,849.99, the highest closing level since November of 1991. The broader Topix index closed 0.5 percent higher at 1,889.29.
Index heavyweight Fast Retailing rose 1.2 percent, while tech stocks Tokyo Electron and TDK Corp gained 1.7 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.
Australian shares rose for a fifth consecutive session, led by miners and financials. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 5.40 points or 0.1 percent to close at 6,135.80, a new five-year high. The broader All Ordinaries Index finished 5 points higher at 6,241.50.
Banks ANZ, Commonwealth and Westpac rose between 0.1 percent and 0.7 percent while energy major Oil Search advanced 1 percent and Origin Energy added 1.5 percent.
Miners BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals Group and South32 climbed around 2 percent each after China’s iron ore futures rose more than 3 percent on Tuesday to hit a four-month high.
Retailer Noni B jumped 4.5 percent after a positive trading update. Meanwhile, Retail Food Group slumped more than 6 percent after issuing another profit warning.
On the economic front, job advertisements in Australia decreased in December after rising in the two previous months, the latest survey from the Australian and New Zealand Banking Group revealed.
A gauge of Australia’s consumer confidence strengthened notably during the week ended January 8th, while the total number of building approvals issued in the country rose a seasonally adjusted 11.7 percent in December.