Asian Markets

Asian-Pacific Stocks Edge Higher, Hang Seng Index Rises to Almost 2%

Shares in Asia-Pacific were largely higher on Wednesday, with stocks in Hong Kong leading gains regionally.

By the Wednesday market close in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index surged 1.79% to 28,817.07. Taiwan’s Taiex also saw robust gains, rising 1.53% on the day to 17,336.71.

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Hang Seng Index Performance Chart

Mainland Chinese stocks closed higher, with the Shanghai composite rising 0.25% to 3,566.22 and the Shenzhen component gaining 1.004% to 14,843.83.

Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 in Japan closed slightly lower at 28,874.89 while the Topix index slipped 0.53% to finish the trading day at 1,949.14.

Minutes from the Bank of Japan’s April monetary policy meeting released Wednesday showed members agreed that stimulus measures, particularly those in advanced economies, could result in a “faster than expected” pace of recovery for Japan and other countries.


South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.38% higher on the day to 3,276.19. Meanwhile, shares in Australia declined as the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.6% to close at 7,298.50.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.83%.

Technology shares in Asia-Pacific were mostly higher on Wednesday.

Hong Kong-listed Chinese tech stocks were higher, with both Alibaba and Baidu rising 2.07% each. The broader Hang Seng TECH index rose 2.66% to 8,020.23.

In Japan, shares of conglomerate SoftBank Group slipped 0.18% while South Korea’s Naver surged 8.31%.

Those moves came after the Nasdaq Composite touched a new intraday record overnight on Wall Street, climbing 0.79% on the day to 14,253.37.

The S&P 500 also gained 0.51% to 4,246.44 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 68.61 points to 33,945.58.

Asian Markets Currencies and Oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 91.737 following an earlier low of 91.685.

The Japanese yen changed hands at 110.87 per dollar, having weakened from below 110 against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7564, staying above the $0.752 level that it has traded around for much of the trading week so far.

Oil prices rose in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 1.08% to $75.62 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.97% to $73.56 per barrel.

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