Asia markets were mostly higher as the dollar nursed losses after it hit 10-month lows overnight on dimmed prospects for U.S. health care reforms.Asia markets were mostly higher as the dollar nursed losses after it hit 10-month lows overnight on dimmed prospects for U.S. health care reforms.
The Nikkei 225 rose 0.09 percent while South Korea’s benchmark Kospi index declined 0.15 percent.
The S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.67 percent, driven by strength in the heavily-weighted financials sub-index, which was up 2.44 percent.
Markets in greater China were in the money. The Hang Seng Index traded higher by 0.48 percent, gaining for a fourth consecutive session. The Shanghai Composite rose 0.8 percent and the Shenzhen Composite was up 0.704 percent.
Symbol Name Price Change %ChangeNIKKEI —HSI —ASX 200 —SHANGHAI —KOSPI —CNBC 100 —Factors behind favorable market sentiment during the Asian trading session included the positive U.S. earnings season — of the S&P 500 companies that have reported, around 80 have beat on the bottom line — and better-than-expected Chinese economic data released Monday, CMC Markets analyst Margaret Yang said.
With the Hang Seng Index and Straits Times Index having broken through resistance levels, markets in the region could be set for the beginning of a new rally, Yang added.
In the U.S., President Donald Trump said he preferred to “let Obamacare fail” as the Republican Party’s attempt to just repeal the law appeared to stall Tuesday. The GOP’s health-care replacement plans had collapsed on Monday when too many senators said they would oppose the party’s current version of reform.
The inability to enact health-care reforms in the U.S. led to questions about Trump’s ability to enact changes to the American tax regime in the near future. Still, some analysts continued to voice optimism about some form of tax reform seeing passage.
The dollar edged up after touching a 10-month low overnight. The dollar index, which measures the dollar against a basket of currencies, stood at 94.753 at 12:01 p.m. HK/SIN.
Against the yen, the greenback fetched 112.03 yen, after trading as low as 111.85 earlier in the session. The euro was at its strongest against the dollar since May 2016, hitting a high of $1.1557 overnight. The common currency last traded at $1.1538.
“A setback for Trump means a setback for the greenback as it casts doubt on the Administration’s broader strategies … Chances are progress on tax reform will be slow with many challenges along the way, which opens the door to further dollar weakness,” BK Asset Management Managing Director of FX Strategy Kathy Lien said in a note.
The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield fell to more than two-week lows overnight, touching 2.26 percent. In Asia trade on Wednesday, it was at 2.2732 percent.
The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond sank to 2.85 percent overnight, compared with around 2.9 percent earlier in the week.
Asian markets open mixed 4 Hours Ago | 06:26In other currencies, the Australian dollar touched a two-year high, trading at $0.7926 at 12:02 p.m. HK/SIN following what markets perceived as a hawkish slant in the central bank’s minutes released Tuesday and the dollar’s weakness.
Oil prices trended lower. Brent crude futures declined 0.14 percent to trade at $48.77 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude edged down 0.17 percent to trade at $46.32.
In individual stocks, Australian banks traded mostly higher after regulators said the capital requirement for the country’s four biggest banks would be increased by 2020. ANZ was up 3.9 percent, Westpac rose 3.66 percent and National Australia Bank was up 3.06 percent.
“The shares are up due to a relief rally given the announcement was not as negative as it could have potentially been,” Regal Funds Management portfolio manager Omkar Joshi told CNBC.
“While the capital requirements are increasing, the banks are fairly well-placed to get to (the) Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority’s minimum requirements organically over the next few years,” Joshi added.
Shares of Rio Tinto were also in focus. Analysts said Rio Tinto’s 2017 dividend could be the highest in the company’s history due to higher iron ore prices, the Australian Financial Review reported. The diversified miner lowered its guidance for iron ore exports on Tuesday. Shares of the company were down 0.6 percent.
In Japan, petroleum company Idemitsu Kosan said it would issue 48 million shares after a court turned down the company founders’ attempt to prevent the offering. The Idemitsu family, who founded the company, are at odds with management’s plans to acquire Showa Shell Sekiyu. The sale of new shares would dilute the family’s stake in the company and reduce their ability to veto, Reuters said. Shares of the company were up 2.49 percent.
Shares of Singapore telco M1 tumbled 6.9 percent after Axiata Group said Tuesday that it was aborting a strategic review of its shareholdings. The drop in share price also followed news the company experienced a 20.8 percent fall in second-quarter earnings, local media reported.
Meanwhile, NetLink NBN Trust, Singapore’s largest IPO in six years, was due to be listed at 3:00 p.m. HK/SIN. The fiber optic cable owner is set to raise $2.3 billion Singapore dollars ($1.68 billion).
In economic news, the Bank of Japan begins a two-day policy meeting Wednesday.
Stateside, stocks closed mostly higher in the last session as earnings season continued.
Ahead, U.S. housing starts and oil stocks data from the Energy Information Administration are due during U.S. hours.