ASIA MARKETS: Hong Kong Stocks Flirt With 10-year High
By Kenan Machado
Hang Seng continues its great year; Nikkei rises respite yen's rebound
Stocks in Asia-Pacific were largely higher in early action, building on fresh records for U.S. indexes overnight, with Hong Kong flirting with 10-year highs Wednesday.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped 1% at the open after logging a 2.2% gain on Tuesday -- its best day in more than a year. If the Hang Seng finishes up more than 0.9%, it would notch its highest close in a decade.
The Hang Seng has been one of the world's best-performing stock indexes this year, rising 28% through Tuesday, amid big gains in Chinese property developers and index heavyweight (0700.HK) The internet giant rose another 0.8% in early action, hitting fresh record highs. It has surged 85% in 2017.
Hong Kong markets will be closed Thursday, while there is no trading at all this week in China and South Korea. Taiwan is also shut for a holiday on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei Stock Average added 0.2% despite an overnight rebound in the yen, which was extended in Asian trading. The yen was recently at Yen112.60 versus the dollar, compared with Yen112.85 in late New York action Tuesday and Yen113.15 when Japan stock trading concluded Tuesday.
Australian equities bucked the regional trend with the S&P/ASX 200 down 0.7%. Equities Down Under have steadily lagged behind others this year -- both regionally and elsewhere in the world -- despite strong economic data of late and metals prices that have been largely been solid in 2017.