Japanese stocks led Asia higher on Tuesday, with the Nikkei rising above the 15,000 mark, while Australian stocks hit their highest level since June 2008.
The region took its lead from the U.S., where the S&P 500 notched a record high in intraday trade overnight. Although the index pared most of those gains to end 0.6% higher, it is now flat for 2014 having recovered from losses it suffered earlier in the year when a selloff hit global markets. Much of Asia however, remains in the red for 2014, with Australia and the Philippines among the few markets in positive territory.
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average made the biggest gain on Tuesday, with the index gaining 1.4% to 15041.31 while the dollar remained steady against the yen at ¥102.49.
Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.7% while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 briefly touched 5461.70, its highest level since 2008, and was last trading at 5442.70, up less than 0.1%.
In addition, Asia was recovering from a broadly weaker session on Monday, brought about by renewed concerns over China’s property market, due to news reports claiming that a bank had stopped lending to property developers.
In China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.3% and the Shanghai Composite was 0.2% higher.
It was another busy day in terms of corporate earnings, and the largest company in focus was HSBC Holdings, with its stock losing 2.7% in Hong Kong after the lender’s results missed estimates. The bank said that lower revenue and higher operating costs weighed on profit growth last year, adding to concerns about the bank’s prospects this year as some of its key markets cool. As the single-largest constituent on the Hang Seng Index, the bank’s fall capped gained for Hong Kong’s headline index.
Shares in Atlas Iron started the day higher but were last down 1.2% as profit-taking took hold after the miner announced that it had swung to a profit in its first fiscal half, adding that it has the ability to increase returns for shareholders as it closes on completing the aggressive expansion of its Australian mines.
Also in Sydney, health care services provider Ramsay Health Care jumped 6.5% after the company reported 10% revenue growth in the first half, beating expectations, due to strong market conditions and facility expansions.
Source : Market watch