Asia shares track Wall Street higher

by Jonathan Adams
Asia shares fall

Hang Seng was 0.1% lower at 16,122.40, the Shanghai Composite index advanced 0.9% to 2,814.89, Nikkei 225 shed 0.7% to 35,889.14, S&P/ASX 200 added 0.8% to 7,642.50, and Kospi climbed 1.7% to 2,620.71

Asian shares were mostly higher Wednesday, tracking gains on Wall Street, although Tokyo’s benchmark dropped.

U.S. futures and oil prices gained.

Stocks advanced in Shanghai and the smaller market in Shenzhen after Chinese regulators issued another set of market-enhancing policies, while Hong Kong gave up early gains.

The upward momentum from Tuesday’s announcement that a state investment fund was stepping up purchases of exchange traded funds seemed to have faded. A report that Chinese leader Xi Jinping was to meet with officials to discuss the markets remained unconfirmed, with no word on such a meeting.

Those developments had pushed Chinese shares, including those in Hong Kong, sharply up on Tuesday. By midday Wednesday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was 0.1% lower at 16,122.40, while the Shanghai Composite index advanced 0.9% to 2,814.89.

Investors were selling technology and property shares that had jumped during the markets’ brief rally.

However the mostly small cap stocks traded in the southern Chinese market of Shenzhen were 2.3% higher, and the CSI 1000, an index that tracks highly volatile “snowball derivatives” was 6.1% higher.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 shed 0.7% to 35,889.14 despite gains for firms that have reported strong financial results, including Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. which gained 3.9%.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.8% in early trading to 7,642.50. South Korea’s Kospi climbed 1.7% to 2,620.71.

Wall Street edged up through a quiet Tuesday as the bond market calmed following some sharp swings.

The S&P 500 added 0.2% to 4,954.23, nearly returning to its all-time high set at the end of last week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.4% to 38,521.36, and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.1%, to 15,609.00.

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