By Ese Erheriene
Asian shares were higher early Wednesday, with financial stocks tracking gains in the U.S., as investors added to their bets that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's policies would be good for global banks.
The Nikkei Stock Average closed up 1.1%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 ended flat, Korea's Kospi finished 0.6% higher and Indonesia's JSX Index gained 1.9%. Asian currencies, on the other hand, were largelystable against the U.S. dollar, which has strengthened recently.
Overnight, in the U.S., investors largely stuck with the recent trend of dumping bonds and dividend-paying shares like utilities in favor of financial and infrastructure stocks.
Among Japanese financials, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial surged 6.2%, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial jumped 5.3% and Mizuho Financial rose 6.3%.
Elsewhere, Taiwan's finance subindex ended 0.2% higher, the S&P/ASX financials subsection added 0.6% and the Philippines' finance index was up 0.5%.
Expectations for higher interest rates and reduced regulation under Mr. Trump's presidency "bodes well for the financials, not just in the U.S. but across the world," said Woon Tian Yong, an investment analyst at Phillip Futures. "Their profit margins will be wider with higher yields."
In addition, Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said Wednesday he was watching regional banks there with "deep interest," an indication of his concern that their earnings prospects could worsen with deeper rate cuts.
In Hong Kong, stocks reversed earlier gains in the last hour of trading, dragged lower by a mixed open in European markets; the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was recently down 0.1%. The Hang Seng Index ended down 0.2%. In the morning, it was up by as much as 0.8%.
Meanwhile, crude oil prices shot up overnight, as members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries hammered out the details of a proposed output cut, which helped shares of producers across Asia.
Japanese oil explorer Inpex ended up 3% and Japan Petroleum Exploration added 2.3%. Australia's Oil Search and Woodside Petroleum jumped 3.4% and 2.4%, respectively. Chinese oil major Cnooc was up 1.8% in Hong Kong. Brent, the global oil benchmark, was recently down 0.4% after rallying more than 3% in the previous session.
The OPEC news "gave a lot of optimism," saidJingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG Markets. "We are pretty close to the [Nov. 30] meeting, so some of this optimism is getting priced into the market."
Elsewhere, Asian technology stocks rebounded from recent declines, taking a nod from the U.S. This follows brisk retail sales growth in the U.S. for October, supporting hopes for a strong holiday shopping season.
South Korea's Samsung Electronics rose 1.2%. In Taiwan, Foxconn Technology added 2.1%, while HTC Corp. rose 1.2%.
Nintendo shares rose 2.8% after the company unveiled plans to launch its highly anticipated mobile app "Super Mario Run,"--Nintendo's first-ever smartphone game featuring one of its iconic characters--next month.
In China, the tech-heavy Shenzhen ChiNext board ended up 0.2%, outpacing the main Shenzhen index, which closed flat. The Shanghai Composite Index opened higher but closed down 0.1%.
The Bank of Shanghai surged on its trading debut after raising 10.7 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in the biggest initial public offering in China so far this year. Shares of China's second-largest municipal bank surged 44%, the first-day upward limit for new IPOs.
Takashi Nakamichi, Sarah E. Needleman and Yifan Xie contributed to this article.
Write to Ese Erheriene at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 16, 2016 04:06 ET (09:06 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.