Stocks in Asia mostly edged up in Wednesday afternoon

Stocks in Asia mostly edged up in Wednesday afternoon trade as investors await comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for possible clues on the central bank’s next move on interest rates.

Asian Stocks

Mainland Chinese stocks ended the morning session largely unchanged, with the Shanghai composite, Shenzhen component and Shenzhen composite all close to flat.

  • The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong added 0.32%
  • MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan also rose 0.4%.
  • South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.57% as shares of chipmaker SK Hynix soared more than 4.5%
  • Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.45% as most sectors traded higher.
  •  The Nikkei 225 slipped fractionally and the Topix fell 0.36% in afternoon trade.

Currencies

  • The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 97.517 following its rise from levels below 97.2 earlier in the week.
  • The Japanese yen traded at 108.88 against the dollar after seeing levels below 108.5 earlier in the week.
  • The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6919 after slipping from levels above $0.695 yesterday.
  • The Japanese yen dipped 0.1% to 108.82 per dollar, the weakest in almost six weeks.

Commodities

Oil prices gained in the afternoon of Asian trading hours.

  • International benchmark Brent crude futures added 0.9% to $64.74 per barrel.
  • U.S. crude futures jumped 1.35% to $58.61 per barrel.

Source

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