By Dow Jones Newswire
Asian stocks rose Wednesday, as Japan’s leading index got a boost from added gains for dollar-yen and bond yields, and as Chinese stock markets largely shrugged off new tariffs.
Japan‘s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.43% was up 1.08% at 23,672.52, returning to late-January levels after having already advanced 3.6% over the prior three trading days. If the Nikkei tops 24,129.34 hit on Jan. 23, it will be the highest point since November 1991.
Life insurers Dai-ichi Life /zigman2/quotes/208507587/delayed JP:8750 +0.08% , up 4.2%, and T&D /zigman2/quotes/208425761/delayed JP:8795 +0.99% , up 3.5%, tracked higher bond rates as yields on 10-year Treasurys (of which the firms are investors) have risen to 3.05%. The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.0123% was at ¥112.34, versus ¥111.95 at the end of Tokyo stock trading Tuesday.
The Bank of Japan reiterated Wednesday that it would keep interest rates extremely low “for an extended period,” holding to forward guidance it first introduced in July. The BOJ decided to stand pat on policy after making a number of tweaks in July to prepare for a longer-than-expected fight to lift inflation.
The board voted 7-2 to maintain shorter-term interest rates at minus 0.1% and keep the target for the 10-year Japanese government bond yield at around zero.
Meanwhile, Japan’s trade deficit in August almost doubled from the previous month, on a surge in imports of crude oil and U.S. liquefied natural gas, data from Japan’s finance ministry showed Wednesday.
Hong Kong stocks were modestly higher, following yesterday afternoon’s rebound on the back of the surge in Chinese equities. The Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.69% was up 1.1%, as insurance giant Ping An /zigman2/quotes/210315058/delayed HK:2318 -0.24% climbed 2.3%. Tencent /zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed HK:700 -0.98% , meanwhile, rebounded 1.1%. And with the overnight jump in oil prices, CNOOC /zigman2/quotes/203421416/delayed HK:883 +1.41% rose more than 2% to fresh four-year highs.
Stocks in mainland China advanced as well, despite China’s $60 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +0.26% was up 1.1% while the Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 -0.62% rose 1.3%.
Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +1.33% was flat, giving up early gains seen when Samsung /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 +1.93% rose 1.4%. Taiwan’s Taiex gained 0.9% as tech stocks mostly rose.
Australia’s ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.68% posted modest gains as mining and energy companies, such as BHP /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP +4.93% , Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO +3.61% and Fortescue /zigman2/quotes/202351558/delayed AU:FMG +1.48% surged. New Zealand’s NSX-50 /zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed NZ:NZ50GR +0.06% rose slightly.
Benchmarks in Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +1.04% , Malaysia /zigman2/quotes/210598052/delayed MY:FBMKLCI +1.30% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX +1.00% rode the regional wave higher as well.