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Asian Markets Rise Despite Wall street Decline.

Australian shares rose on Wednesday while some of the other major Asia-Pacific markets are closed for the day.

The benchmark ASX 200 traded 0.7% higher at 7,117.60, with the heavily-weighted financials subindex up 0.84%. Energy and materials were up 0.9% and 1.2%, respectively as major miners and oil stocks mostly advanced.

asian markets
ASX Index Performance Chart

In Taiwan, the Taiex was up 0.36% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.09%.

Singapore’s Straits Times index declined 0.82%. The city-state said Tuesday that it will tighten social restrictions after detecting within its borders the Covid-19 variant that experts say is partially responsible for India’s staggering rise in cases.

Wednesday’s session in Asia follows an overnight session on Wall Street where the S&P 500 fell amid selling in Big Tech and other high-growth stocks while the Nasdaq Composite registered its worst day since March.

“Equities traded defensively amid declines in technology stocks and comments from Yellen that the Fed may need to raise interest rates somewhat to prevent the economy from overheating. There is some concern that the best of the improvement in US earnings may have already occurred after the weaker April ISM manufacturing survey. The reality is that data can’t continuously improve at the pace it did in March and April, but underlying growth is expanding rapidly,” analyst at ANZ Research

Markets on the Chinese mainland and Japan remain closed for public holidays. South Korean markets are also shut.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Tuesday that interest rates may have to rise to keep a lid on the burgeoning growth of the U.S. economy brought on in part by trillions of dollars in government stimulus spending.

The former Fed chair later tempered her comments somewhat on the need for higher rates, saying she respects the Federal Reserve’s independence and was not trying to influence decision-making there.

The Fed has kept short-term interest rates anchored near zero for more than a year, despite an economy growing at its fastest pace in nearly 40 years.

Asian Markets Currencies and Oil

In the currency market, the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of its peers, slipped 0.1% to 91.193, coming off an earlier high around 91.283.

Elsewhere, the Japanese yen changed hands at 109.24 per dollar while the Australian dollar traded up 0.42% at $0.7737.

Oil prices extended gains Wednesday during Asian trading hours. U.S. crude futures were up 0.87% to $66.26 a barrel while global benchmark Brent added 0.84% to $69.46.

Prices rose overnight as optimism of stronger demand grows amid easing restrictions in Europe and the U.S., which is offsetting the weakness in India, according to ANZ Research analysts.