Asian Shares Rise in Midweek Trade
By Investors Hub
Asian stocks rose broadly on Wednesday as investors awaited the FOMC decision and a private survey signaled improvement in manufacturing operating conditions across China in October.
Chinese shares rose marginally after the Caixin manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for October matched expectations. The PMI came in unchanged at 51.0 in October, remaining above 50 for the fifth consecutive month.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index inched up 2.73 points or 0.1 percent to 3,396.07, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 348.52 points or 1.2 percent to 28,594.06.
Japanese shares rallied sharply, with a weakening yen, solid manufacturing data and upbeat corporate earnings results boosting investor sentiment.
Japan’s manufacturing activity continued to expand strongly in October, underpinned by solid expansions in output, new orders and employment, survey data from IHS Markit showed.
The Nikkei 225 Index surged up 408.47 points or 1.9 percent to a 21-year high of 22,420.08, while the broader Topix Index closed 1.2 percent higher at 1,786.71.
Banks rose broadly, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Mizuho Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial rising around 1 percent each. Inpex rallied 2.4 percent after Brent oil prices jumped back above the $60 a barrel mark for the first time since July of 2015.
A weaker yen boosted exporters, with Canon, Honda and Panasonic rising 1-4 percent. Sony soared 11.4 percent after reporting strong second-quarter profit growth and raising its full-year operating income forecast.
Australian shares gained ground as Chinese steel futures rose and the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group revealed growth in the country’s manufacturing sector for the thirteenth consecutive month in October.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 28.80 points or 0.5 percent to 5,937.80, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended 29.10 points or 0.5 percent higher at 6,005.50.
National Australia Bank gained 0.7 percent ahead of its earnings results due on Thursday, ANZ rose half a percent and Westpac added 0.6 percent. Mining heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto rose 1.6 percent and 0.8 percent respectively.
Energy stocks such as Woodside Petroleum and Santos climbed 1-2 percent after crude oil prices extended gains overnight.
Meanwhile, Oil Search tumbled 3 percent after announcing it is buying oil blocks in Alaska for $400 million.
Myer Holdings slumped 4.6 percent after the department store chain dropped its sales targets, citing challenging retail conditions. CSR plunged 5.5 percent despite the building products supplier posting a slight rise in first-half profit.
Seoul stocks rallied to close at fresh record highs, led by technology shares. The benchmark Kospi jumped 33.04 points or 1.3 percent to finish at 2,556.47.