Asian stocks ended mixed on Wednesday despite Wall Street bouncing back overnight on the back of upbeat earnings reports and renewed optimism about economic growth.
Chinese shares gained ground despite lingering regulatory risks. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index rose 25.87 points, or 0.73 percent, to 3,562.66, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dipped 0.13 percent to 27,224.58.
Japanese shares rose to snap a five-day losing streak after official data showed exports in June jumped 48.6 percent from a year earlier, marking the fourth straight month of growth, led by U.S. demand for cars and China-bound shipments of chip-making equipment.
Meanwhile, minutes from the Bank of Japan’s June 17 and 18 meeting revealed that officials were divided on the country’s inflation outlook.
The Nikkei average edged up 159.84 points, or 0.58 percent, to 27,548 ahead of a long weekend that will mark the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The broader Topix index closed 0.82 percent higher at 1,904.41.
NOK Corp jumped 5.8 percent after the maker of oil seals raised its profit outlook.
Homebuilder Tama Home slumped 10.2 percent after reports the company was effectively banning its workers from getting COVID-19 vaccines. The company in a statement denied it put pressure on workers not to get vaccines.
Australian markets rose sharply despite disappointing retail sales data and escalating COVID-19 woes. Retail turnover in June fell 1.8 percent from a month earlier, preliminary figures showed as the country’s two largest states reported sharp increases in new COVID-19 cases.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 climbed 56.50 points, or 0.78 percent, to 7,308.70 after two straight sessions of losses. The broader All Ordinaries index ended up 55.10 points, or 0.73 percent, at 7,580.90.
Mining heavyweight BHP advanced 1.3 percent after a report that the company is considering getting out of its oil and gas businesses. Rival Rio Tinto gained 1.2 percent.
The big four banks rose between 0.8 percent and 1.2 percent after the minutes of the RBA’s July policy meeting revealed that condition for rate hikes will not be met before 2024.
Diversified miner South32 rallied 1.1 percent after reporting record annual production at a number of operations globally.
Beach Energy tumbled 3.2 percent after its fourth-quarter market update failed to meet expectations.
Construction and infrastructure giant CIMIC surged 4.5 percent after posting strong first-half revenue growth.
Seoul stocks ended lower as South Korea reported a daily record of novel coronavirus cases. The Kospi average dropped 16.79 points, or 0.52 percent, to 3,215.91, extending losses for the fourth day running. SK Hynix, Samsung Biologics, and Celltrion lost 1-2 percent.
New Zealand shares eked out modest gains, with the benchmark NZX-50 index rising 58.30 points, or 0.46 percent, to settle at 12,709.14. Mercury NZ shares jumped 3.2 percent.
U.S. stocks rose sharply overnight, with renewed optimism over economic recovery and a string of upbeat earnings reports helping underpin sentiment after Monday’s steep selloff.
The Dow and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index climbed around 1.6 percent each while the S&P 500 rallied 1.5 percent.
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