Japan A Bright Point In Lacklustre Asia Trade

Japan a bright point in lacklustre Asia trade

HONG KONG, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 17th Augst,2016) : Tokyo stocks made solid gains Wednesday as the Yen halted its rally and energy and banking stocks rose, while elsewhere in the region trade was lacklustre after a weak lead from Wall Street. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.9 percent, snapping a two-day losing streak as a drop in the safe haven Currency lifted exporters -- making them more competitive overseas. The Dollar picked up against the yen Wednesday after comments from a senior US central banker suggested the Federal Reserve could hike interest rates as early as September. William Dudley, head of the Fed's New York branch, said a rate hike was possible next month and that Wall Street investors were too "complacent" about the prospect of higher rates over the next year. In Asia trade, the greenback rose to 100.70 yen from 100.30 yen in New York, where it briefly touched as low as 99.54 yen, falling under the 100 level for only the second time this year.

"Considering how much the yen has strengthened, Japanese shares are showing resilience," Chihiro Ohta, a senior strategist with SMBC Nikko Securities, told Bloomberg News. Petroleum-linked stocks were among the top performers, with explorer Inpex soaring 6.46 percent and refiner JX Holdings jumping 3.37 percent. Elsewhere investors were cautious, with Sydney ending flat while Seoul, Manila and Bangkok were all down.

But some energy stocks in other markets also got a lift after oil prices held overnight gains above $46 on hopes producers would decide to freeze output at a meeting next month. Sydney-listed Oil Search gained 2.4 percent and GS Holdings Corp in Seoul climbed 1.3 percent.

In Chinese markets, Shanghai was flat and Hong Kong lost 0.3 percent but Shenzhen gained 0.3 percent after news that the government had approved plans to link trading between the Shenzhen and Hong Kong stock exchanges.