By Daniel Inman
Stocks in Japan and Australia climbed Wednesday, with Sydney edging toward a five-year high, as the threat of U.S. military intervention in Syria appeared to diminish.
Syria said that it would stop making chemical weapons and reveal the location of its stockpiles in an attempt to avoid a military attack on the country.
Fears of a U.S. military strike on Syria have weighed on market sentiment in recent weeks, but the rising possibility of a diplomatic solution this week has contributed to substantial gains for global markets.
An address to the nation by President Barack Obama, broadcast early on Wednesday in Asia, also gave some markets a push. Obama said that he had asked Congress to postpone a vote on action and that he has asked Secretary of State John Kerry to meet with his Russian counterpart.
The easing tension was reflected in a weaker yen, an asset that investors flock to in times of turmoil. The dollar (USDJPY) pushed 0.8% higher against the Japanese currency Tuesday to Yen100.38, though it gave up some of its gains in Asia -- last at Yen100.56.
The weaker yen supported Japanese stocks, and shares in Tokyo pushed slightly higher after Obama's address, with the Nikkei Average last up 0.9%.
Car makers followed the market higher in Tokyo, with Honda Motor Co. (HMC) up 0.5% and Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) 0.8% higher. Construction companies, which have rallied this week after Tokyo was selected to host the 2020 Olympic Games, pulled back slightly. Kajima Corp. (KAJMF) fell 1.9%, and Taisei Corp. dropped 2.5%.
Rising 0.4% to 5,223.80, the S&P/ASX 200 edged closer to a five-year high of 5,249.6 reached in mid-May. Australian stocks have been helped by a string of consistently upbeat economic data from China, the main consumer of the country's natural resources.
Over the weekend, China posted strong export growth for August, which was followed by an acceleration in industrial output on Tuesday. Both measures reinforced the case for a recovery in Asia's largest economy, leading to gains in the region's stocks.
The Australian dollar (AUDUSD), which has also been supported by the Chinese data, was slightly lower at 92.89 U.S. cents Wednesday, compared with the 93.21 U.S. cents it hit overnight -- its highest level since late June.
Signs of a recovering economy kept Chinese stocks pointed in an upward direction, with the Shanghai Composite 0.6% higher, though Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 0.1%, giving up some of its gains from earlier in the week.
South Korea's Kospi was down 0.1%.
Shares in companies that supply to Apple (AAPL) fell Wednesday after the U.S. technology giant's underwhelming launch of its new iPhone models. Murata Manufacturing Co. (6981.OK) fell 2.6% in Tokyo and AAC Technologies Holdings (2018.HK) sank 5.6% in Hong Kong.
-Daniel Inman; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
09-11-13 0127ETCopyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
|UPDATE: Asian shares mostly rise; Sydney nears 5-year high ()|
|Asian shares mostly rise; Sydney nears 5-year high ()|
|Asia stocks mostly higher; Sydney at 5-year high ()|
|UPDATE: Asian stocks mostly rise, helped by Shanghai (2013/10/8)|
|UPDATE: Asian shares mostly lower on China concerns ()|
|UPDATE: Asian shares mostly lower as China data disappoint (2014/1/9)|
|UPDATE: U.S. stocks mostly lower; yields hit 2-year highs ()|
|UPDATE: Europe stocks rally to more than 5-year high ()|
|UPDATE: Asian shares lower, but Apple suppliers rise ()|
|ASIA MARKETS: Asian Stocks Mostly Rise, Helped By Shanghai (2013/10/8)|
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