Asian Shares Close Higher

October 17, 2017

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks ended a range-bound session mostly higher on Tuesday after the major U.S. averages hit fresh record highs overnight, buoyed by rising oil prices and optimism about the economic outlook and the possibility of major tax reform.

The dollar edged up after Fed Chair Janet Yellen reiterated that additional gradual interest rate hikes are likely to be appropriate over the next few years.

Oil prices remained elevated due to supply worries after Iraqi forces seized the oil-rich city of Kirkuk from Kurdish fighters.

Japanese shares extended gains for an 11th straight day as the dollar held gains against the yen and euro and investors remained hopeful that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will win Sunday’s Lower House election.

The Nikkei 225 Index swung between gains and losses before finally closing up 80.56 points or 0.4 percent at 21,336.12, the highest level since November of 1996. The broader Topix index closed 0.2 percent higher at 1,723.37.

Kobe Steel shares soared more than 3 percent after recent steep losses on worries about its data fabrication scandal.

Australian shares rose sharply to close at a five-month high after copper and oil prices jumped and minutes from the Reserve Bank’s October 3rd meeting showed the central bank is not in any rush to raise interest rates.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 42.80 points or 0.7 percent to 5,889.60, its highest level since May 3rd. The broader All Ordinaries Index closed up 40.90 points or 0.7 percent at 5,958.10.

Rio Tinto rallied 1.3 percent after reporting a 6 percent increase in third quarter iron ore shipments. Rival BHP Billiton also advanced 1.3 percent. The big four banks rose between half a percent and 1.4 percent. Oil Search rose 0.4 percent after posting record production volumes in the last quarter.

Chinese stocks ended roughly flat heading into the National Congress of the Communist Party kicking off on Wednesday. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index dipped 5.03 points or 0.2 percent to 3,373.44, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index inched up 4.69 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 28,697.49.

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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