Asian Shares Follow Wall Street Higher

Asian stocks advanced on Wednesday after technology stocks led a rally on Wall Street overnight. A cautious undertone prevailed, however, amid concerns about the war in Ukraine and inflation.

The Australian dollar stood tall, while the yen slumped further on worries about rising energy costs. Surging U.S. Treasury yields weighed heavily on gold, but oil prices climbed on industry data showing a drop in U.S. crude inventories.

A NATO meeting and the upcoming EU Summit Thursday in Europe, where sanctions and the Russian oil embargo will likely top the agenda, were also on investors’ radar.

Chinese shares eked out modest gains, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ending 0.3 percent higher at 3,271.03. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 1.2 percent to finish at 22,154.08.

Hong Kong shares of network equipment maker ZTE Corp. soared 23 percent. A U.S. judge has allowed a probation period to end after the company was nearly destroyed in a clash with Washington over its dealings with Iran and North Korea.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index spiked 3 percent to 28,040.16 as a cheaper yen helped lift export-reliant sectors such as electronics and automobiles. Index heavyweights led advances, with SoftBank Group and Fast Retailing adding 7.2 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively.

Seoul stocks rose for a second straight day, with big-cap technology companies, financials and steelmakers leading the surge. The Kospi climbed 0.9 percent to end at 2,735.05. Steel companies Dongkuk Steel, Posco Holdings and Hyundai Steel added 5-7 percent.

Australian markets ended at a two-month high, led by gains in the technology and banking sectors. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose half a percent to 7,377.90, marking its highest level since January 18, as investors looked past worries of inflation’s hit on the economic recovery.

High-quality technology companies rallied on bargain hunting, with Block Inc. shares surging 7.5 percent. Miners ended on a weak note as iron ore prices slipped.

Meanwhile, New Zealand shares fell sharply, with the benchmark NZX 50 Index closing down 1.2 percent at 12,061. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare slumped 7.9 percent after the medical devices maker forecast a 14 percent decrease in annual revenue.

Source: Read Full Article