World Economy

Asian Stocks Rise, China, Japan at Multi-Year Highs

Asian Stocks Rise, China, Japan at Multi-Year HighsAsian Stocks Rise, China, Japan at Multi-Year Highs

Asian stocks were higher across the board on Wednesday, with Tokyo, Seoul and mainland markets hitting fresh highs, after the Bank of Japan (BoJ) kept its massive monetary stimulus intact as expected.

The central bank also reiterated that the world’s third-biggest economy is recovering moderately, CNBC reported.

Asian markets were seemingly unaffected by the weaker finish overnight in the US as investors eyed continued gains in oil and the US dollar ahead of the unofficial start of earnings season on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished in neutral territory, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite ticked down 0.2 and 0.1 percent each.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 hit its highest level since June 2000, while the dollar-yen fell as low as 119.90 against the US dollar, after the BoJ held its monetary policy unchanged.

Tokyo-based pharmaceutical company Eisai rallied 2.2 percent after it was granted an additional patent for its Belviq drug. Following the news, Eisai’s US partner Arena Pharmaceuticals bolstered 3.9 percent overnight on the Nasdaq.

Fast Retailing, which is due to put out first-half results on Thursday, pared losses to finish flat.

  Mainland Indices Up

Amid volatile trade, China’s Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.9 percent to fresh seven-year highs.

Train makers CSR and China CNR rose by the daily maximum allowable 10 percent for the second straight session in Shanghai after their proposed merger was approved by mainland authorities. In Hong Kong, shares of both companies soared over 30 percent each.

The Hang Seng index, trading for the first time after being closed since Good Friday, surged to its highest level since May 2008. The rally was supported by Chinese investors who used up the entire 10.5 billionyuan ($1.69 billion) daily investment quota for the first time, according to Reuters. The daily quota allows mainland traders to buy Hong Kong stocks under the Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connect launched last November.

Alibaba Pictures Group, the movie division of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding, jumped 26.6 percent, boosted by an announcement regarding injection of entertainment assets from its parent company.