Asian shares were mostly positive on Wednesday as investors prepare for Donald Trump’s first full press conference as president-elect.
Down Under, the ASX 200 gained 0.31 percent, led strongly by its materials play.
Major Australian miners surged after base metal prices jumped overnight in London likely due to better-than-expected producer price inflation in China. Rio Tinto gained 4.4 percent, Fortescue Metals added 3.44 percent and BHP Billiton rose 3.43 percent after its chairman said he held positive talks with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday.
Organic baby food manufacturer Bellamy’s dived 34.73 percent to A$4.36 per share, after the company said revenue will fall and its chief executive will leave effective immediately.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was up 0.36 percent as the yen weakened against the greenback to trade above 116.
Toshiba shares jumped 5.89 percent to 305.4 yen each, after the Japanese conglomerate met creditors on Tuesday and asked them not to use provisions in debt agreements to call in their loans early so as to give the company time to work out a plan, Reuters reported.
Toshiba announced on Dec. 27 that it might book a goodwill charge of several billion dollars related to cost overruns at a U.S. nuclear plant construction business.
Across the Korean strait, the Kospi added 1.37 percent, led by electronics giant Samsung Electronics which had climbed 2.85 percent.
Mainland Chinese shares were lower, with the Shanghai composite down 0.48 percent and the Shenzhen composite slipping 0.74 percent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng surged 0.68 percent.
Over at Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.16 percent to close at 19,855.53, while the S&P 500 closed unchanged. The Nasdaq composite finished up 0.36 percent at 5,551.82.
The dollar index was tracking 102.16 during Asian trade, compared to yesterday’s levels as low as 101.8.
“The dollar is marking time before U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s press conference on Wednesday,” said Kathy Lien, managing director of FX Strategy for BK Asset Management, in a note on Tuesday U.S. time.
“Trump will most likely repeat everything that he previously vowed to achieve while giving little details on specific policy actions. The question then becomes how the markets will react – will they be disappointed by the lack of specificity or encouraged by his pledge to spend,” Lien said.
The Mexican peso was fetching 21.773 per dollar on Wednesday in Asian hours, after falling to a fresh record low overnight ahead of Trump’s first press conference. The Mexican peso has plunged nearly 17 percent against the dollar since Trump’s surprise victory.
Against the dollar, the yen was tracking 115.95 while Australian dollar continued to gain at $0.7378 at a near one-month high.
In the commodities market, U.S. crude futures were up 0.26 percent at $50.96, while global benchmark Brent added 0.22 percent to $53.76.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange slipped 0.3 percent to $5,740 a tonne after closing 3 percent higher overnight, while three-month zinc was up 0.55 percent to $1,723 after it closed 2 percent higher.