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March 28, 2017, 10:43 p.m. EDT

Asia-Pacific stocks post gains after Wall Street’s rebound

Investors shrug of political uncertainty, focus on positive economic data

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By Ese Erheriene

Bloomberg News
People walk along the harbor across from the Sydney Opera House, in Sydney, Australia. Australian stocks gained almost 1% in early trading Wednesday.

Investors in Asian equities regained some of their risk appetite Wednesday following strong gains in the U.S., where better-than-expected economic data sparked optimism.

In currencies, the pound continued to plunge against the dollar after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May signed the formal letter that will trigger the nation’s official separation from the economic bloc when it is delivered to European Council President Donald Tusk later Wednesday. The sterling was recently down 0.5%.

Broadly, though, after weathering choppy trading earlier in the week, stock markets shrugged off politics and refocused on data.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +1.12%   was up 0.8% in morning trade, opening at its highest level since May 2015. Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +1.73%   was 0.1% higher, Singapore’s Straits Times Index /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +0.48%   added 0.3% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +2.40%   was up 0.3%.

Overnight, the U.S. Conference Board said its index of U.S. consumer confidence rose to the highest level since the year 2000. The measure highlights American optimism about the economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both rose 0.7% Tuesday, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.6%.

“The economic indicator of consumer confidence has been very impressive and I think that’s led to the broad-based gains in the U.S. market and that has really helped the Asian markets move higher today as well,” said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG Group.

Meanwhile in Japan, local factors weighed on Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.65%  , which reversed from early gains to decline 0.1%.

Several Japanese stocks that often attract investors with higher dividends are underperforming as they go ex-dividend, said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Asset Management.

Japan Airlines /zigman2/quotes/202202214/delayed JP:9201 -0.89%   was down 1.0%, Takeda Pharmaceutical /zigman2/quotes/201302442/delayed JP:4502 +0.91%   fell 2.1% and Japan Post Insurance /zigman2/quotes/200203950/delayed JP:7181 -0.48%   slipped 2%.

Looking ahead, markets in the region will be watching out for U.S. jobless claims and Chinese inflation data this week.

+78.30 +1.12%
Volume: 772,600
Aug. 11, 2022 5:10p
KR : Korea Exchange
+42.90 +1.73%
Volume: 505,245
Aug. 11, 2022 3:30p
SG : Singapore: SGX
+15.63 +0.48%
Volume: 0.00
Aug. 11, 2022 5:20p
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
+471.59 +2.40%
Volume: 1.60M
Aug. 11, 2022 4:08p
JP : Nikkei
-180.63 -0.65%
Volume: 0.00
Aug. 10, 2022 3:15p
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 2,348.00
-21.00 -0.89%
Volume: 2.18M
Aug. 10, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
¥1026.09 billion
Rev. per Employee
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 3,782.00
+34.00 +0.91%
Volume: 2.90M
Aug. 10, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
¥5948.48 billion
Rev. per Employee
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 2,068.00
-10.00 -0.48%
Volume: 735,100
Aug. 10, 2022 3:00p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
¥826.25 billion
Rev. per Employee

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