By Dow Jones Newswire
Asian stock markets were mostly higher in early trading Wednesday. The gains followed solid advances in Europe overnight as well as for the Dow and S&P. But S&P 500 futures were down 0.2% in Asia, perhaps signaling things may not be bright again in the U.S. for Wednesday’s trading.
Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -3.67% edged up 0.4%, as steel makers JFE Holdings /zigman2/quotes/204336633/delayed JP:5411 -3.19% and Nisshin Steel rallied. While most automakers gained, Mitsubishi Motors /zigman2/quotes/202404490/delayed JP:7211 -4.52% sank despite beating earnings expectations Tuesday.
After falling early, Chinese stocks rallied, but then ended in the red. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -2.75% closed down less than 0.1% after notching its best three-day streak in more than two years. The Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 -3.47% was also down less than 0.1% after spending time higher and lower on the day. Bank and infrastructure stocks, Tuesday’s big gainers, remained active, while Facebook-related plays logged gains as the company announced a China unit.
Meanwhile, vaccine maker Kangtai /zigman2/quotes/209720830/delayed CN:300601 -2.65% was down 9%, and shares in medical peer Changsheng were halted after seven straight days of steep losses amid the a rabies vaccine scandal.
Hong Kong stocks continued their run of strong gains, as the Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -2.67% climbed 0.9%. Financials were again solid, with China Construction Bank /zigman2/quotes/208974133/delayed HK:939 -2.02% rising 0.7%. Elsewhere, Tencent /zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed HK:700 -3.06% was up 1.2% and Sinopec /zigman2/quotes/202085942/delayed HK:386 -2.20% jumped 2.1%.
South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -3.46% dipped slightly, as did indexes in Taiwan and Australia /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -3.25% , while indexes in Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -3.02% and New Zealand /zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed NZ:NZ50GR -1.54% posted modest gains.