Asian Markets Post Gains Led by Shanghai & Hang Seng
Shares in Asia-Pacific were higher on Wednesday as Chinese stocks led gains among the region’s major markets.
By the market close in mainland China, the Shanghai composite gained 1.43% to 3,655.09 while the Shenzhen component advanced 2.122% to 15,962.25. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped 1.91% to close at 30,038.72.
China’s consumer inflation declined in January, according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics which reported the consumer price index slipped 0.3% from a year ago. The NBS also reported the producer price index rose 0.3% year over year in January.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.19% on the day to 29,562.93 while the Topix index closed 0.27% higher at 1,930.82. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.52% to finish its trading day at 3,100.58.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.52% to close at 6,856.90.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares advanced 0.87%.
Toyota Rises in Asia Trading
In corporate news, shares of Toyota rose 1.7% while Japanese automotive supplier Denso’s stock gained 0.39%. The moves came after start-up Aurora announced it will collaborate with the firms to “build and globally deploy self-driving cars at scale.” Aurora bought Uber’s self-driving unit in December.
Meanwhile, shares of Nissan surged 3.73% after CEO Makoto Uchida reaffirmed the importance of electric vehicles to its future. He told CNBC that the firm will be looking to electrify 100% of all its new vehicle offerings “from the early 2030s in key markets.”
Uchida also told CNBC that Nissan is working with suppliers to “minimize” the impact of a global shortage of semiconductors that has hit the car industry especially hard.
Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 shed 0.1% to close at 3,911.23, ending a six-day winning streak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 9.93 points to finish its trading day at 31,375.83 while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.1% to a record close of 14,007.70
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.386 following a decline from levels around 91.2 seen earlier in the week.
The Japanese yen traded at 104.56 per dollar, having strengthened significantly from levels above 105.2 against the greenback seen earlier in the trading week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7738 following its rise from levels around $0.765 earlier this week.
Oil prices were mixed in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures slightly higher at $61.12 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 0.12% to $58.29 per barrel.