By Kenan Machado
Asian equities continued to rise Wednesday, helped by strong results from Apple, though Sydney shares eased as commodities prices pulled back.
The stock market in Taiwan, home to a number of Apple’s suppliers, was the strongest performer in the region. That market’s strength in the past year has been in large part Apple-driven, thanks to the company’s results as well as expectations about how its coming iPhone will fare.
The Taiex rose 0.7% with iPhone assembler Hon Hai /zigman2/quotes/207256514/delayed TW:2317 +1.98% climbing 1.3% and lens maker Largan Precision /zigman2/quotes/210444196/delayed TW:3008 +0.43% jumping 3.7% to another record high.
Apple’s /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL -4.75% results for the June quarter released late Tuesday beat market expectations. Its shares ended after-hours trade up 6.3% at $159.50, which would be a fresh record high if maintained during regular trading and put the company’s market value at $830 billion.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.27% was also strong, with Apple audio supplier AAC Technologies /zigman2/quotes/201441510/delayed HK:2018 +2.15% jumping 5% and Sunny Optical /zigman2/quotes/206687505/delayed HK:2382 +4.14% gaining 3.5%. The index, which has gained in 15 of the last 17 sessions, rose 0.5% in early trading.
Gains were more modest elsewhere, with Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -3.34% up 0.3% despite good news on the earnings front there. Meanwhile, the yen eased a little, with the dollar at session highs of around ¥110.50.
But a pullback in commodities prices crimped recent gains in Australia, where the stock market is heavily exposed to the resources sector. The S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -1.60% fell 0.5% amid a 2% drop overnight in oil prices and a further near-1% drop in Asian trade after a bearish crude inventory reading from the American Petroleum Institute.
BHP Billiton /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP -2.05% , a major mining, declined 2% while oil firm Santos /zigman2/quotes/207349564/delayed AU:STO -2.04% dropped 1.5% in declines that Ric Spooner at CMC Markets chalked up to profit-taking.