Asian Shares Finish Broadly Higher on Upbeat Economic Data
By Investors Hub
Asian stocks finished broadly higher on Wednesday as record closing highs on Wall Street overnight on the back of upbeat economic data and a positive reaction to Fed Chair nominee Jerome Powell’s comments regarding financial regulations helped investors shrug off news about North Korea’s latest missile launch.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index closed up 4.35 points or 0.1 percent at 3,338.00, led by property developers and resource firms. However, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged down 57.02 points or 0.2 percent to 29,623.83.
A strong rally in financials helped the Japanese markets end higher for the day. The Nikkei 225 Index gained 110.96 points or 0.5 percent to finish at 22,597.20, while the broader Topix index closed 0.8 percent higher at 1,786.15.
Banks Mizuho Financial and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial rallied 2-3 percent. Nomura Holdings rose over 1 percent after the brokerage and investment bank said it would cancel 4.7 percent of its outstanding shares.
Matsumotokiyoshi Holdings advanced 3.4 percent after a report that the drugstore chain operator will tie up with Dai-ichi Life Holdings to sell insurance products in December.
On the economic front, Japanese retail sales came in roughly flat on a seasonally adjusted basis in October, missing forecasts for an increase of 0.2 percent.
Australian shares eked out modest gains after a strong lead from Wall Street overnight. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose by 26.86 points or 0.5 percent to finish at 6,011.12, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 29.40 points or 0.5 percent at 6,096.10.
The big four banks rose between half a percent and 0.8 percent, tracking gains among their U.S. peers overnight in the wake of tax reform progress and strong consumer confidence data. Miners BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group climbed around 1 percent despite weakening metals prices.
Origin Energy jumped 2.7 percent to extend gains for the second day after unveiling cost cuts at its flagship liquefied natural gas export operations.
Bingo Industries soared 8.2 percent after the waste disposal company raised A$106 million in an institutional offer to fund its recently announced acquisitions.