By Dow Jones Newswire
Asian stock markets generally pushed higher Wednesday, with markets in Japan and South Korea extending lengthy winning streaks.
The Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +1.83% notched its seventh consecutive gain high as it nudged up 0.15% to 22,848.22, a fresh 2 1/2-month high. Shipping names continued to outpace other sectors, with Mitsui OSK Lines /zigman2/quotes/204152844/delayed JP:9104 +3.69% jumping 4.1% and Nippon Yusen /zigman2/quotes/203488100/delayed JP:9101 +3.02% adding 1.9%. Banks also did well, with big regional lender Concordia /zigman2/quotes/202343229/delayed JP:7186 +1.72% climbing 3.8%.
Hong Kong’s benchmark seesawed before finishing with slight gains for its third straight increase. The Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +3.81% rose 0.2% to 28,416.44. Hong Kong property stocks rebounded today, with Agile /zigman2/quotes/210448079/delayed HK:3383 +4.45% jumping 3.6% after reporting net profit doubled in the first half of the year. Financials were under pressure after releasing quarterly results, with Bank of China /zigman2/quotes/204682472/delayed HK:3988 +4.64% losing 0.6% and BOC Hong Kong /zigman2/quotes/200479222/delayed HK:2388 +4.38% falling 2%.
More than a week after hitting five-week highs, shares in ZhongAn /zigman2/quotes/208436659/delayed HK:6060 +16.86% fell another 2.4% on Wednesday to leave it near July’s all-time low. Shares in the Chinese online insurer, backed by billionaires Jack Ma and Pony Ma, are down more than 50% this year and off 65% from a post-IPO high of HK$97.80 in September.
After posting the only declines in the region Tuesday — albeit slight ones — Chinese equities lagged again, with the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +5.71% ending down 0.3% at 2,769.29 and the Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 +3.90% fell 0.6%.
South Korea’s stock benchmark slowly posted its ninth straight gain, the longest streak since July 2009. The Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +1.65% rose 0.3% to 2309.03, the highest in seven weeks. Chip makers Hynix /zigman2/quotes/206420319/delayed KR:000660 +0.70% and Samsung /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 +2.61% each rose 0.5% amid that sector’s global strength.
A last-hour push to session highs was enough for Australia’s stock benchmark to log another 10 1/2-year closing high. The S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.71% rose for fourth straight day, climbing 0.75% to 6352.2. The heavily weighted financials, which pressured the market most of last week, continued their rebound in climbing 1.8% and nearly erasing the August drop.
New Zealand stocks logged their biggest gain since Donald Trump’s election as the market in part caught up to the gains seen across Asia Pacific Tuesday, when the NZX closed trading after an hour because of data problems. The benchmark NZX-50 /zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed NZ:NZ50GR +0.84% climbed 1.6% to 9362.67, another record closing high.