ASIA MARKETS: Hong Kong Stocks Hit Decade High As Asian Markets Extend Rally
By Ese Erheriene
Japan's Nikkei rises despite falling dollar; TDK shares surge 6%
Asian stocks finished broadly higher Wednesday, with technology shares fueling the gains.
Asia's advance came on the back of fresh highs on Wall Street -- the tech-heavy Nasdaq notched its 67th record closing high of 2017 -- and strong results in Asia and Europe on Tuesday.
Hong Kong's stock benchmark topped 30,000 for the first time in a decade. The Hang Seng Index ended 0.6% higher at 30,003.49, its fourth straight day of gains.
Read:Hang Seng index tops 30,000 for first time in a decade (https://www.wsj.com/articles/hong-kongs-hang-seng-index-tops-30000-for-first-time-in-a-decade-1511333364?mod=mktw)
The Hang Seng's recent gains mean "a lot of foreign capital is still betting that the Hong Kong market will go higher," said Margaret Yang, a strategist at CMC Markets. The benchmark has jumped 36% this year, making it among the world's best performers.
It wasn't, however, helped on Wednesday by Tencent Holdings (>> Tencent Holdings Ltd) , which fell 0.7%. The Chinese tech giant's shares have surged this month, pushing its market capitalization above $500 billion. Instead, financials were driving the Hang Seng on Wednesday, especially banks. HSBC PLC (>> HSBC Holdings) rose 1.8%, ICBC (>> Industrial and Commrcl Bank of China Ltd) added 1.6% as did China Construction (>> China Construction Bank Corporation) .
Benchmarks in Japan and Taiwan , which have major tech companies, rose 0.5% and 0.4%, respectively. Japanese electronics stocks were among the region's big gainers, with TDK (>> TDK Corp) surging 5.9% to a fresh two-year high.
The Nikkei's advance came despite the U.S. dollar losing some strength during Asian trading, after outgoing Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said that she is uncertain weak inflation is transitory. "It may be that there is something more endemic or long-lasting here that we need to pay attention to," Yellen said in a discussion with Mervyn King, the former governor of the Bank of England.
The dollar traded around Yen112.30, compared with Yen112.50 earlier Wednesday, but some of that reflects money going into Japanese stocks, said Stephen Innes, head of Asia trading at Oanda.
Other regional highlights include DBS Group (D05.SG) , Singapore's largest bank, put on 1.9% and topped its late-1999 record high during the session.
Also, Australia's stock benchmark rose 0.4%, tracking Asian gains in oil prices. After crude rose overnight, futures jumped further following the release of bullish U.S. oil-inventory data. The U.S. crude benchmark moved up 1.4% to $57.65 a barrel and the global Brent standard added on 0.8%.