Asian stocks traded mix on Wednesday

Asian stocks held their ground on Wednesday as Chinese equities soared on stimulus hopes, although a resurgence in regional tensions capped broader gains with North Korea opting to restore part of a missile test site it had began dismantling earlier.

Global shares

  • MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan nudged up 0.1 percent.
  • The Shanghai Composite Index was up 1 percent, hovering near a nine-month high.
  • South Korea’s KOSPI was down 0.3 percent.
  • Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.7 percent.
  • S&P 500 losing 0.39 percent.

Currency Market

The dollar held gains after rising against its peers on Tuesday’s upbeat ISM non-manufacturing sector report.

  • The euro was little changed at $1.1299 following a decline of 0.3 percent the previous day.
  • The dollar was a touch lower at 111.76 yen.
  • The Australian dollar dipped 0.25 percent to $0.7072.

Commodities

  • Brent crude eased 0.7 percent to $65.39 per barrel.
  • US Crude oil futures were down 0.8 percent at $56.12 per barrel.

A report from the Institute for Supply Management showed U.S. non-manufacturing sector companies in February placing the most new orders since August 2005, an indicator of robust health.

“In the short term, the equity markets will likely focus on positive factors such as the strong U.S. ISM data,” said Soichiro Monji, senior economist at Daiwa SB Investments in Tokyo.

“Steady U.S. growth is a stronger theme than slowing Chinese growth, especially with Sino-U.S. trade talks seemingly headed for some kind of a conclusion.”

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