Skip to Content
Market Update

Tokyo Leads Gains in Asia

Asian markets bounced back into the green Wednesday, tracking overnight gains on the Wall Street, and as a softer yen boosted earnings outlook for Japanese exporters.

Tokyo's Nikkei led the regional gains, up 2.3% at close. The Shanghai Composite finished 1.5%, the Hang Seng gained 1.7% while the S&P/ASX All Ordinaries enhanced 1.7% following mild inflation numbers.

Official reports showed Australian consumer prices increased by a less-than-expected 0.4% in the first quarter, and up 2.5% from a year earlier. Investors were hopeful this would give the central bank more room to slash interest rates in the near future.

Markets in Mumbai were closed for a public holiday.

The mood was positive at open during the Asian session after Wall Street equities rebounded from early losses on heels of a false tweet about attack on the White House, as strong corporate results and upbeat housing data reinstated confidence.

In the forex market, the yen dropped to 99.61 against the dollar and to $129.70 against the euro during late Asian afternoon hours.

Commodities also sprung back in the positive zone as risk appetite improved across the board.

Stocks on the move

Tokyo-listed exporters scored high on the back of a weaker currency. Among top gainers, Nintendo Co. rose over 5% ahead of its earnings release, Tokyo Electron gained 5.3% while Mazda Motor Corp. accelerated 3.6%.

Steel players moved sharply higher following earnings results. JFE Holdings soared 6.6% while Kobe Steel was up 5.1%.

In Hong Kong, property developers recovered from yesterday's losses. China Resources Land moved up around  3% and Sino Land Co. gained 3.8%.

Financials and airlines stocks were also strong. Index leader HSBC Holdings rose 2.4% while largest lender ICBC added 1.7%.

Air carriers China Eastern Airlines and Air China vaulted 3.5% and 1.6% respectively while Cathay Pacific Airways tacked on a percent.

Among other globally exposed firms, Foxconn International Holdings surged over 5% even as Belle International Holdings rose 6.1%.

In Sydney, banks were in demand -- NAB, Westpac Banking and ANZ all added around 2.5% each.

Among miners, index heavyweight BHP Billiton climbed 1.1% while Rio Tinto advanced 1.6%. Fortescue Metals Group, however, slumped 4.3%.

Other top gainers included Seven Group Holdings (+5.2%), Harvey Norman Holdings(+4.2%) and Worleyparsons Ltd. (+2.8%).