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Asia Market Update

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Asian equities continued to strengthen Thursday, with Japanese stocks surging on their first trading day of 2018 after U.S. indexes rose to fresh records overnight.

The Nikkei Stock Average NIK, +2.64% finished morning trading 2.5% higher, led by the tech sector as the Nasdaq Composite extended gains overnight after closing above 7,000 for the first time. Semiconductor company Tokyo Electron 8035, +5.34% climbed 5% and Sony 6758, +3.27% gained 3%.

Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s December policy meeting sent the U.S. dollar higher. The minutes showed general commitment to raising interest rates further in 2018, said Marvin Loh, senior global market strategist at BNY Mellon.

The WSJ Dollar Index rose 0.1% in Asian trading, after snapping its longest losing streak in four years on Wednesday.

Taiwan’s tech-heavy Taiex Y9999, +0.10% opened 0.4% higher after hitting a fresh five-week high on Wednesday, as the sector continues to recover from the sharp pullback in November and December. But Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.54%, which started 0.6% higher, saw those gains quickly fade. The index was recently down 0.3% as index heavyweight Samsung 005930, -0.85% shed 0.5%.

Commodities continued to bolster Australia’s benchmark stock index, after crude futures rose to three-year highs on Wednesday. The S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -0.02% was up 0.1%, after rising as much as 0.5% to a fresh 10-year high in early trade.

The benchmark stock indexes in Singapore and Malaysia hit 2½-year highs, with the Straits Times Index STI, +0.19% rising 0.2% and the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI FBMKLCI, +0.40% gaining 0.4%.

Source: marketwatch.com

Asian equities continued to strengthen Thursday, with Japanese stocks surging on their first trading day of 2018 after U.S. indexes rose to fresh records overnight.

The Nikkei Stock Average NIK, +2.64% finished morning trading 2.5% higher, led by the tech sector as the Nasdaq Composite extended gains overnight after closing above 7,000 for the first time. Semiconductor company Tokyo Electron 8035, +5.34% climbed 5% and Sony 6758, +3.27% gained 3%.

Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s December policy meeting sent the U.S. dollar higher. The minutes showed general commitment to raising interest rates further in 2018, said Marvin Loh, senior global market strategist at BNY Mellon.

The WSJ Dollar Index rose 0.1% in Asian trading, after snapping its longest losing streak in four years on Wednesday.

Taiwan’s tech-heavy Taiex Y9999, +0.10% opened 0.4% higher after hitting a fresh five-week high on Wednesday, as the sector continues to recover from the sharp pullback in November and December. But Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.54%, which started 0.6% higher, saw those gains quickly fade. The index was recently down 0.3% as index heavyweight Samsung 005930, -0.85% shed 0.5%.

Commodities continued to bolster Australia’s benchmark stock index, after crude futures rose to three-year highs on Wednesday. The S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -0.02% was up 0.1%, after rising as much as 0.5% to a fresh 10-year high in early trade.

The benchmark stock indexes in Singapore and Malaysia hit 2½-year highs, with the Straits Times Index STI, +0.19% rising 0.2% and the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI FBMKLCI, +0.40% gaining 0.4%.

Source: marketwatch.com

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